Mark McGwire was hired as hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, joining a team that scored the fifth-fewest runs in Major League Baseball last season.
McGwire spent the past three seasons in the same role with the St. Louis Cardinals, who had a National League-best .269 batting average and .337 on-base percentage while scoring the second-most runs in the league.
A 12-time All-Star whose 583 career home runs rank 10th in major-league history, the 49-year-old McGwire replaces Dave Hansen as the Dodgers’ seventh hitting coach in eight seasons. Hansen was fired last month after the Dodgers (86-76) posted a .252 batting average and scored 637 runs, the fewest of any major-league team with a winning record.
“He (McGwire) earned the respect of both veterans and young players while in St. Louis and the offensive numbers the Cardinals produced under his tutelage speak for themselves,” Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said in an e-mailed statement.
The Cardinals won the World Series title in 2011 with McGwire as their hitting coach and batted a NL-best .274 with runners in scoring position over the past three seasons.
McGwire, who lives in Irvine, California, and played college baseball at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, had said earlier this week that he wouldn’t return as the Cardinals’ hitting coach. He has admitted using steroids during his playing career.