Red Sox add Victor Rodriguez as assistant hitting coach

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After hiring Greg Colbrunn as their new hitting coach earlier this week, the Red Sox have added a long-time member of the organization as an assistant.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have named Victor Rodriguez as assistant hitting coach. Rodriguez has been with the organization with 18 seasons, including the last six as minor league hitting coordinator, but next season will be his first as a member of the major league staff. He was in the running for the primary hitting coach job until the Red Sox hired Colbrunn.

With these latest hires, new manager John Farrell has officially locked in his staff for 2013. Colbrunn and Rodriguez will be joined by pitching coach Juan Nieves, bench coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield and first base coach Arnie Beyeler. Gary Tuck is back as the bullpen coach and is the last man standing from Bobby Valentine’s staff.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.