Eric Hinske isn’t wasting any time going from playing to coaching, joining new Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s staff as first base coach.
Hinske played for the Diamondbacks this year, hitting .173 in 52 games to finish up a 12-season career in which he won a Rookie of the Year award and then went on to play for seven different teams. He was released by Arizona in July.
Hinske was originally drafted by the Cubs in 1998, but never played for Chicago because he was traded to the A’s for Miguel Cairo in 2001 (and then later traded to the Blue Jays for Billy Koch that same year).
The Diamondbacks have activated third baseman Eric Chavez from the disabled list. In a corresponding roster move, they have designated Eric Hinske for assignment.
Chavez, 35, had been sidelined with a strained right oblique since the end of May. The injury interrupted a fantastic first two months. Facing right-handed pitching almost exclusively, Chavez hit .325/.368/.588. In his stead, Martin Prado took over every day at third base, starting every game between May 31 and June 22.
Hinske, also 35, was not enjoying his 2013 season. Usually a reliable bat off the bench, he carries a meager .173/.259/.288 slash line, including just nine hits in 45 trips to the plate as a pinch-hitter. This marks his second consecutive season of subpar offense but good lefty bench bats are hard to find, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hinske get a shot with another team.
Eric Hinske received a five-game suspension following the big Dbacks-Dodgers brawl a couple of weeks ago. Many thought it was unjust as Hinske never threw a punch and was, by most accounts, trying to be a peacemaker. Apparently that argument carried some weight at the league office:
That’s a pretty significant reduction. Normally a game or two is shaved off on appeal. You have to figure that MLB realized that they blew that one.