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Dodgers finalize coaching staff for 2013

Dodgers finalize coaching staff for 2013

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Dodgers finalize coaching staff for 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers finalized their Major League coaching staff Tuesday, creating the job of assistant pitching coach for Ken Howell and promoting Minor League coaches Chuck Crim and John Valentin to manager Don Mattingly's staff.

Crim replaces Howell as bullpen coach and Valentin will be the assistant hitting coach to Mark McGwire, who was hired as batting coach last week.

The rest of the staff returns intact: Rick Honeycutt, pitching coach (eighth season); Trey Hillman, bench coach (third season); Tim Wallach, third-base coach (third season); Davey Lopes, first-base coach (third season); Manny Mota, coach (34th season); Steve Yeager, catching coach (second season).

Howell, who turns 52 later this month, has been credited with contributing to the success of many of the club's relievers, including recent addition Brandon League and Kenley Jansen.

However, Howell has been sidelined several times in the last five years with ailments related to diabetes. In 2012, he missed five weeks, during which the bullpen ERA rose by one-third of a run.

In the new alignment, Howell will assist Honeycutt with the Major League club, but will also have the flexibility to occasionally work with pitchers in the Minor League system. If he needs a break for health reasons, the Major League team won't be disrupted by his absence.

In Crim, the club promoted one of the more promising pitching coaches in the game. He just finished his second season as pitching coach at Double-A Chattanooga, where the Dodgers prefer to keep their Major League-close arms, instead of Triple-A Albuquerque.

Crim pitched relief in the Major Leagues for eight years with the Brewers, Angels and Cubs. He was a scout for the Dodgers before becoming a coach in 2009 at the Rookie level.

Valentin played 11 Major League seasons and has spent the past five seasons in the Dodgers' Minor League system as a manager and coach, the last two as hitting coach at Albuquerque.

Mota will assist the club as a coach in Spring Training and through the season, but will take on an expanded role as the Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers on PRIME TICKET Fox Deportes.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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