Torre’s staff taking shape

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers said Friday that no decisions had been made about their coaching staff, but sources told The Times that new Manager Joe Torre has in mind a nucleus that includes Don Mattingly, Larry Bowa, Rick Honeycutt and Mariano Duncan.

Either Mattingly or Bowa, who were on Torre’s staff on the New York Yankees, could serve as the bench coach. Mattingly could also be the hitting coach and Bowa could be the third base coach.

Honeycutt and Duncan, who were with the Dodgers last season, would be back as pitching and first base coach, respectively.


Decisions about the coaches will be made jointly by Torre and General Manager Ned Colletti, and a team spokesman said no such decisions had been reached.

Last season’s bench coach, Dave Jauss, said he was leaving the club and interim hitting coach Bill Mueller is expected to reassume a place in the front office. The futures of third base coach Rich Donnelly and bullpen coach Dan Warthen remain uncertain.

Honeycutt said he hasn’t talked to Torre or heard from Colletti since Torre was hired. Two other organizations asked the Dodgers for permission to speak with Honeycutt about minor league jobs, but Honeycutt said his preference was to remain with the Dodgers.

“This is the organization that gave me a chance to get back in baseball and my allegiance is to them,” Honeycutt said.

Donnelly and Warthen said they had been given no indication whether they would be back when they spoke to Colletti on Tuesday, but both said they wanted to be back. Donnelly said he has looked into other opportunities. Warthen has not.

Jauss interviewed for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ managerial position, according to two major league sources.

The Dodgers could be doing plenty of moving in Torre’s first spring with the club, which could result in the team’s bidding an early farewell to its longtime spring training base in Vero Beach, Fla.

The Dodgers are being considered as participants for Major League Baseball’s first games in China, exhibitions tentatively scheduled for March 15-16. Baseball sources said the Dodgers could stop on their way back to the United States to play an exhibition game or two in Taiwan.

If the Dodgers go to Asia, they might not return to Vero Beach, where they will conduct spring training for the final time in 2008. The club could instead spend the remainder of spring training in Arizona, possibly in the Oakland Athletics’ facility in Phoenix. That facility would be available only if the A’s are chosen to face the Boston Red Sox in a two-game season-opening series in Japan on March 22-23.

The Dodgers will move their spring training base to Glendale, Ariz., in 2009.

Left-hander Randy Wolf, who had his 2007 season cut short by shoulder surgery and had his 2008 option declined, said he wanted to be back with the Dodgers next season.

Wolf said his agent, Arn Tellum, has had preliminary discussions with Colletti.

Wolf said he was uncertain how the hiring of Torre would affect his future.

“They very well could not want me,” Wolf said. “With a new manager coming in, he could be completely disinterested on having me there.”

Wolf said that his rehabilitation was progressing well and that he expected to start throwing in two or three weeks.