Dave Hansen was fired as the Dodgers’ hitting coach last month, but the Mariners have hired him to fill the same job.
Hansen replaces Chris Chambliss, who last month became the ninth hitting coach fired by the Mariners since 2000. In other words Hansen is stepping into a pretty tough job, although Seattle moving in the fences at Safeco Field should help the team’s raw offensive numbers some.
Hansen became the Dodgers’ hitting coach in the middle of last season after the team fired Jeff Pentland. Pentland found a new job as a Triple-A hitting coach for the Mariners and was added to the coaching staff in September to work alongside Chambliss. There was some thought that Pentland would get the job once Chambliss was fired, but instead a team has opted for Hansen over for him for the second time in 18 months.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.