DENVER -- The Rockies will not renew the contracts of hitting coach Carney Lansford and third-base coach Rich Dauer, according to an industry source. The moves will be announced Tuesday.The moves were made a day after Jim Tracy resigned as manager. The makeup of the coaching staff was thought to be one of the sticking points that led Tracy to walk away from a guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2013. Tracy did not give specific reasons for leaving. Lansford, 55, replaced Don Baylor, now with the D-backs, after the 2010 season. The Rockies struggled at times offensively in 2011, but actually had a strong season in 2012. Although the Rockies finished 64-98, the worst record in their 20 seasons of existence, they led the National League with a .274 batting average, were second to the Cardinals in on-base percentage at .330 and were third in the league in runs scored with 758.
This was with a youth-dominated lineup that was missing shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, first baseman Todd Helton, outfielder-first baseman Michael Cuddyer and catcher Ramon Hernandez for long periods because of injuries.Observers credited Lansford for the success of rookies such as catcher Wilin Rosario, infielder-catcher Jordan Pacheco and shortstop Josh Rutledge, as well as young players such as outfielder Tyler Colvin and third baseman Chris Nelson. Lansford was also lauded for the development of switch-hitting outfielder Dexter Fowler.
However, the Rockies are expecting to seek a hitting coach who has had success with a more veteran roster, since that's what the club expects to have. Lansford was previously bench coach with the Athletics (1994-95) and the Cardinals (1997-98) and hitting coach with the Giants (2008-09).Dauer, 60, has been with the organization for seven years, the last four as third-base coach. Dauer oversaw a defense that produced Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners Tulowitzki in 2010 and 2011 and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in 2010. However, the Rockies led the Major Leagues with 122 errors this season. Dauer has worked in the Majors for 11 years as a third-base coach -- two with the Indians (1990-91) and six with the Royals (1997-2002). The moves continue what promises to be an offseason of change for the Rockies. More staff changes could occur when the new manager is hired. In-house managerial candidates include Tom Runnells, the Rockies' bench coach since Tracy became manager in 2009, and Stu Cole, who has managed in the Rockies system since 2001 and has spent the last two-plus seasons at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
The rumor mill has produced names such as Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, whom the Phillies recently promoted from Triple-A manager to third-base coach and infield instructor; one-time Rockies catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the Indians' interim manager for the final six games of this season and has been asked back by new manager Terry Francona; Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach, who had a successful run as a Triple-A manager before joining the Major League staff, and Jason Giambi, who has been a player with the Rockies since 2009.
Although Giambi hasn't retired, he is respected by players and the front office.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.