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!
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.