As first reported on the Cleveland Indians’ official Twitter feed, major league hitting coach Jon Nunnally was fired before Sunday’s game and Bruce Fields was named as his replacement.
Nunnally had been with the Tribe in a coaching capacity since 2006 and was named hitting coach in December of 2009. The Indians entered Sunday’s action ranked 12th in the majors in runs scored and 13th in team OPS but have struggled to maintain a firm grasp on first place in the American League Central. Nunnally, a former major league outfielder, will likely try to continue his coaching career with another organization. He is only 39 years old.
Fields served as the Tigers’ hitting coach from 2003-2005 and was operating this season as the Indians’ minor league hitting coordinator. He played three seasons in the major leagues.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.