Padres hire Phil Plantier as hitting coach

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According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Padres have hired Phil Plantier as hitting coach.

Plantier, 42, had been serving as manager at the Padres’ single affiliate in Lake Elsinore, California.

He was a big league outfielder from 1990-1997, batting .243/.332/.439 with 91 home runs in 610 games, 298 of which he played with San Diego.

In 1993, by far his best season, Plantier had an .843 OPS and 34 home runs for a 72-90 Padres team.

He’ll be taking the place of Randy Ready, who was let go in late September after a brutal offensive campaign that sunk the Friars to a 71-91 record. With a batting order that should improve in 2012 but only mildly, Plantier will be facing a challenge.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.