Dave Hansen was fired as the Dodgers’ hitting coach last month, but the Mariners have hired him to fill the same job.
Hansen replaces Chris Chambliss, who last month became the ninth hitting coach fired by the Mariners since 2000. In other words Hansen is stepping into a pretty tough job, although Seattle moving in the fences at Safeco Field should help the team’s raw offensive numbers some.
Hansen became the Dodgers’ hitting coach in the middle of last season after the team fired Jeff Pentland. Pentland found a new job as a Triple-A hitting coach for the Mariners and was added to the coaching staff in September to work alongside Chambliss. There was some thought that Pentland would get the job once Chambliss was fired, but instead a team has opted for Hansen over for him for the second time in 18 months.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.