Orioles hire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have hired Scott Coolbaugh as the club’s new hitting coach. Once Charlie Manuel turned down the position, the Orioles moved quickly. In Dallas, Coolbaugh met for two hours with manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.

Coolbaugh, 48, spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues with the Rangers, Padres, and Cardinals. He had been serving as the minor league hitting coordinator for the Rangers. Kubatko writes that the Rangers had initially declined permission for the Orioles to interview Coolbaugh but relented yesterday.

Jim Presley had been the Orioles’ hitting coach dating back to 2010, but he was reassigned within the organization in late November.

More on Coolbaugh, via Kubatko:

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.