In their search for a new hitting coach, the Red Sox look to two more former major-league hitters
With Dave Magadan now the hitting coach of the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox need to find a replacement. They've interviewed Rick Schu, Victor Rodriguez, and Scott Fletcher for the gig already, but they plan to speak to more candidates very soon, each of them former big-league hitters.
Craig Counsell is scheduled to be interviewed on Monday, while Greg Colbrunn is slated for later this same week. Counsell retired after the 2011 season, and became a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin for the Milwaukee Brewers. Counsell played in the majors for 16 years, including on two different World Series-winning clubs (the 1997 Marlins and 2001 Diamondbacks). While he was never much of a hitter in terms of power*, he did well with batting average early in his career, and most importantly, was a disciplined hitter. Counsell walked nearly 11 percent of the time in his career, and saw over four pitches per plate appearance during the last 10 seasons of his career. If he can instill some discipline into hitters who have more natural power than he, then Counsell has done his job.
*Regardless of the results, Counsell had some of the coolest batting stances around, ripe for imitation in backyard or wiffle ball games.
Colbrunn was in the majors for 13 years, posting a 106 OPS+ over 3,017 plate appearances split among the Expos, Marlins, Twins, Braves, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Mariners. Colbrunn retired after the 2005 season, which he had spent in the Rangers' minor-league system, and became a hitting coach for Charleston shortly after. Colbrunn was shortly the club's manager, but has spent the last two seasons as the hitting coach once more.