Todd Helton returns from hip injury, rejoins Rockies’ lineup

1 Comment

Out since July 8 with a hip injury, Todd Helton is back from the disabled list and batting fifth in the Rockies’ lineup tonight.

Before the DL stint Helton started 58 of 77 games at first base and the Rockies figure to give him regular time off in an effort to keep the 38-year-old healthy. Michael Cuddyer, who had been filling in at first base, will shift back to right field while Tyler Colvin and Andrew Brown losing playing time.

Helton has hit just .235 with a .730 OPS in 256 plate appearances this season, but he’s signed through next year as part of a renegotiated long-term contract that allowed the Rockies to defer payments until 2023.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”