Jeff Bagwell named Astros' new hitting coach

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Astros director of social media Alyson Footer reports that the club has dismissed Sean Berry as hitting coach and named Jeff Bagwell as his replacement

Bagwell, 42, played all of his 15 major league seasons for the Astros and retired in 2005 with a .297/.408/.540 batting line, 2,314 hits and 449 home runs.  He will try to right the ship on what has been a dreadful season at the plate for the Astros.

Houston ranks 28th in the league in runs scored, 29th in batting average, 27th in home runs and dead last in OPS.  Bagwell won’t start the gig until after the All-Star break, so there will be no Mark McGwire-Bagwell hitting coach face-off today in Houston.  But that’ll come later this season.  Dingers!

Didi Gregorius continues to be ridiculous

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Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.

For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.

After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:

“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”

Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:

 

We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.