Lombard, who has also coached baserunning and outfield play during his five years on manager Dave Roberts’ staff, also interviewed for the Pirates manager job last offseason.
“I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be a major league manager,” Roberts said Tuesday, “whether it’s sooner or later.”
Before joining the Dodgers, Lombard spent six seasons coaching in the Red Sox minor league system, including two years as manager of the rookie-level Gulf Coast Red Sox in 2011-12, and one year as hitting coach of Class-A Lowell.
“His understanding of baseball, understanding of the player, the ability to communicate with players, the idea to continue to grow in information with baseball ops, all that stuff,” Roberts said. “He’s open, willing and eager, and he’s very positive.”
Ron Gardenhire retired during the penultimate week of the regular season, after three years with Detroit. Should Lombard end up getting the job with the Tigers, he’d be the second member of Roberts’ coaching staff to become a major league manager. Chris Woodward has managed the Rangers in the last two seasons after three years as the Dodgers’ third base coach.
Peers on Kershaw
Andy McCullough wrote a tremendous profile of Clayton Kershaw at The Athletic, telling his story through the eyes of 15 former pitching teammates of the Dodgers longtime ace.
Chris Capuano recalled seeing Kershaw in the weight room after a loss in 2012:
“He never lets that spiral,” Capuano said. “I struggled with this. If you’re human, when you deal with failure and adversity, it shakes your confidence. It can produce a little bit of a fog. And it’s easy to go into slumps, where you have to work through that.
“He let himself feel that loss, completely and totally, but it didn’t have any type of impact on the next start. Deep down, he knows who he is. He knows how good he is. And he refuses to accept when that doesn’t come out.”