Mattingly to become Dodgers' full-time coach

The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that hitting coach Don Mattingly will return to the team after the All-Star Break and Mike Easler, who had filled the role on an interim basis, will remain in the organization as planned.

The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.

"We're glad Don can return to the staff," Colletti said. "We're also very thankful to Mike, who stepped up in Don's absence and who will continue to contribute to the organization."

Mattingly was named hitting coach on Nov. 16, 2007 and was replaced by Easler on an interim basis on Jan. 22, 2008 due to personal reasons.

The former Yankee player and coach was one of the best hitters of his era, compiling a .307 batting average, 222 homers and 1,099 in 13 seasons with New York.

The six-time All-Star served as Joe Torre's bench coach in New York last season and was the Yankees' batting coach from 2004-06, leading the squad to a Major League-best 930 runs scored in 2006.

In his first season as a big league coach in 2004, Mattingly guided the Yankees' hitters to an all-time franchise record of 242 home runs.

Easler, who is in his third season with the Dodger organization, has previously served as a hitting coach in the Dodgers' minor league system, first with Double-A Jacksonville in 2006 before being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas prior to last season.