SAN DIEGO -- For years, putting together a big-league coaching staff has almost been like checking items off a well-worn list. There's the bench coach, pitching coach and hitting coach, with coaches also at first base and third. There's a bullpen coach and an assistant hitting coach, in most cases.
The Giants appear poised to throw much of that out, joining other organizations that have taken a more collaborative approach. They could have three different variations of a hitting coach, with sources telling NBC Sports Bay Area that Seattle Mariners Director of Hitting Dustin Lind is expected to join Donnie Ecker and Justin Viele.
Gabe Kapler said Monday that the Giants are almost done putting together the hitting side, but the pitching side of the staff is still a work in progress and could "go in a couple different directions." Brian Bannister will be the Director of Pitching but the Giants still are talking to other candidates, many of whom are from the college ranks, and could have a non-traditional setup in terms of pitching coaches, as well.
Giants executives did a thorough examination of the clubhouse and dugout after the season, talking to some core players, and determined that they needed more energy in the dugout. All of the leaked hires thus far are on the young end, with little to no big-league experience. Viele, for instance, was coaching hitting in A-ball last season. Ecker isn't far removed from Los Altos High and Lind was with the Mariners for just two seasons. In addition to energy and new techniques, Kapler expects something else.
"The philosophy would be collaboration and working together as a team rather than working in individual silos," Kapler said. "Sometimes you can have a hitting coach that doesn't want to bring people in and work as a group to make really good decisions for the hitters or give hitters really good feedback. What we're trying to design is a team of coaches where we're inviting each other into our spaces to have meaningful conversations about how to get players better. We're encouraging debate and back-and-forth conversations to get the best possible outcome for the players."
There are two more known hires. Ron Wotus will be the third base coach and sources told NBC Sports Bay Area that Kai Correa, formerly of the Cleveland Indians, will coach first and work with the infielders. Correa, like the other new hires, has a strong reputation within the industry.
Kapler said he also will have a bench coach -- the exact title may be different -- to lean on during games.
"There's going to be somebody, without question, who is on the bench as part of our staff that is kind of a partner to me from a game strategy perspective," Kapler said. "I'll always lean on a bench coach and pitching coach to make in-game decisions."