Sweeney joins Dodgers as coach
First baseman retires as MLB's second-leading pinch-hitter
MESA, Ariz. -- He's baaaack.
Not talking about Manny this time. It's the return of Mark Sweeney, who announced his retirement Friday along with his hiring by the Dodgers as an assistant coach.
"We are excited to be able to keep Mark Sweeney in the Dodger organization and we congratulate him on his retirement from his playing career," general manager Ned Colletti said. "With 14 years of big league experience, he will bring some very valuable baseball knowledge to our staff."
The 39-year-old Sweeney will be in uniform for all pregame workouts during the regular season and will serve as a Spring Training instructor. Sweeney will be a liaison between the Dodgers' advance scout and the club, including series preparation.
Sweeney's final year was a humbling one, as he hit .130 playing 98 games and was 12-for-78 (.154) in his specialty, pinch-hitting. Nonetheless, he ranks second in baseball history with 175 pinch-hits behind only Lenny Harris (212), who was hired by the Dodgers on Oct. 31 as the senior hitting coach at Camelback Ranch.
With Sweeney, Harris and longtime Dodgers coach Manny Mota, the Dodgers have as coaches the top three pinch-hitters of all-time. Mota logged 155 pinch-hits during his career, and retired as the all-time leader in Major League history before being surpassed by Harris and Sweeney.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.