OKC Dodgers Announce 2023 Coaching Staff
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Dodgers, have announced the 2023 OKC Dodgers field staff, led by manager Travis Barbary. Hitting coach Manny Burriss returns for a third season, and he’ll be joined by pitching coaches Doug Mathis and Justin DeFratus. Mathis begins
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Dodgers, have announced the 2023 OKC Dodgers field staff, led by manager Travis Barbary.
Hitting coach Manny Burriss returns for a third season, and he’ll be joined by pitching coaches Doug Mathis and Justin DeFratus. Mathis begins his first season in OKC and after spending the last three seasons on the coaching staff of the Texas Rangers, while DeFratus returns for his third season. Another newcomer is bench coach Chris Gutierrez, who reprised the same role at Double-A Tulsa last season.
Barbary is entering his 29th season in the Dodgers organization as a player, staff member or coach and his fourth consecutive season as Oklahoma City’s field manager. In 2022, Barbary led the OKC Dodgers to an 84-62 record, finishing just one game out of first place in the Pacific Coast League’s East Division, although the team held at least a share of first place for 111 days throughout the season. The 84 wins were team’s second-most during the Bricktown era (since 1998). The team has finished in second place in its division during each of the last two seasons.
Barbary began his time in Oklahoma City in 2019 and was slated to be OKC’s manager in 2020 prior to the cancelation of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, he served as part of the coaching staff at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ alternate training site held at the University of Southern California.
Before being named OKC Dodgers manager, Barbary spent the previous 12 years as the organization’s catching coordinator. He has also served as a hitting coach and manager in the lower levels of the Dodgers’ farm system, with four total seasons managing the Rookie-Level Ogden Raptors (2003-04) and Low-A Columbus Catfish (2005-06). From 1998-2001, he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a bullpen catcher.
Originally from Easley, S.C., the 51-year-old Barbary played collegiately at Spartanburg Methodist Junior College and the University of Virginia. The former catcher spent one season playing professionally in the Dodgers organization in 1994 before transitioning to coaching.
Burriss has overseen one of the league’s best offenses over his two seasons in OKC. The team finished among the top three in the PCL in runs scored both seasons, including a team-record 949 runs in 2022. The Dodgers have also clubbed at least 181 home runs in each of the last two seasons, marking two of the three-highest home run totals in team history. This past season, the Dodgers drew a club-record 731 walks to lead all the Minor Leagues and drew the most walks by any Triple-A team since 2004. Three of Burriss’ hitters in 2022 finished among the top seven in the PCL in OPS: Jason Martin, Miguel Vargas and Ryan Noda.
Burriss, 38, joined the Dodgers organization in 2019 as a roving hitting instructor and was scheduled to be OKC’s hitting coach in 2020 before the season was canceled. The Washington, D.C., native played professionally from 2006-18, including parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. He played collegiately at Kent State University and was selected with the 33rd overall pick of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by San Francisco.
Mathis enters his first season in the Dodgers organization after three years on the Major League coaching staff with the Texas Rangers, including the last two seasons as the co-pitching coach. Last season, the Rangers shaved over a half-run off their team ERA, dropping from 4.79 in 2021 to 4.22 in 2022. They also significantly reduced their home runs allowed from 232 in 2021 to 169 in 2022 while increasing strikeouts at the same time.
The 39-year-old Mathis began his coaching career in 2017 in the Seattle Mariners organization. He moved on to become the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A pitching coach with Buffalo in 2019 before joining Texas in 2020.
The native of Show Low, Ariz., played collegiately at Central Arizona College and the University of Missouri before he played professionally for 11 seasons between 2005-15, including 45 games over parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Rangers between 2008-10. He also played overseas throughout his career in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Additionally, Mathis has the distinction of being a former Oklahoma City player, spending parts of the 2007-10 seasons with the RedHawks, totaling 42 career games (37 starts).
DeFratus, 35, returns to the OKC coaching staff for a third straight year, serving as pitching coach along with Mathis. He was the team’s bullpen coach for the last two seasons and was scheduled to hold the role in 2020 as well. Last season, 11 different relief pitchers made appearances for both OKC and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
DeFratus played professionally for 13 seasons, including each of his last two seasons in the Dodgers organization, with time spent with OKC in 2018 and 2019. He made 191 appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies between 2011-15 and also played in Triple-A with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals.
Gutierrez is a newcomer to OKC as well as coaching at the Triple-A level. He spent the last two seasons as the bench coach at Double-A Tulsa and has been a coach in the Dodgers organization since 2018. Before joining the Dodgers, Gutierrez spent two years as a hitting coach in the Chicago Cubs’ minor league system.
His playing career spanned from 2005-13 in the Blue Jays, Angels, Dodgers and Marlins organizations, reaching as a high as Triple-A. Gutierrez, 38, is originally from Orlando, Fla., but played collegiately at Oklahoma State from 2003-05 and was named to the program’s “All-Allie P. Team of the 2000s.”
Lead athletic trainer Chelsea Willette returns for a third season with the club. Griffin Boyte also joins the training staff after spending last season with High-A Great Lakes. Paul Fournier will begin his second season as the team’s performance coach. Fournier has a total of 17 years of experience as a Major League strength and conditioning coach, including eight seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies prior to joining the Dodgers organization in 2022.
The OKC Dodgers open the 2023 season Friday, March 31. Season-ticket and group packages are available now for purchase, and single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 21. Visit okcdodgers.com or call (405) 218-2182 for more information.