Royals hire two hitting coaches to replace Kevin Seitzer

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Kansas City has joined Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Diego in hiring both a hitting coach and an assistant hitting coach, as the Royals have added Jack Maloof and Andre David to their staff.

They’ll replace Kevin Seitzer, who was fired earlier this month after the Royals ranked 12th, 6th, 10th, and 13th among AL teams in scoring during his four years on the job, and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Maloof “will be the primary coach.”

A few weeks ago the Phillies fired hitting coach Greg Gross and replaced him with Steve Henderson, later naming Wally Joyner as his assistant hitting coach.

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a full-scale trend yet, but clearly teams are rethinking the way they approach putting together the MLB-allowed six-man coaching staff.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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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.