Eric Hinske joins Mets as assistant hitting coach

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Eric Hinske is joining the New York Mets as assistant hitting coach in manager Buck Showalter’s staff, Eric Chavez is switching to bench coach, and Dom Chiiti is becoming bullpen coach.

Glenn Sherlock is moving from bench coach to catching and strategy coach, and Jeremy Barnes from assistant hitting coach to hitting coach, the team said.

Hinske, a 12-year big league veteran, was hitting coach of the 2018 Los Angeles Angels, when Billy Eppler was general manager. Eppler became the Mets GM in November 2021.

Hinske was first base coach of the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and assistant hitting coach from 2015-17 and was Arizona’s assistant hitting coach from 2019-21.

Chiti worked with Showalter in Baltimore and Texas. He spent the past two seasons as the Angels’ bullpen coach.

Chavez joined the Mets as hitting coach before last season.

Showalter’s coaches include Jeremy Hefner (pitching), Jeremy Barnes (hitting), Joey Cora (infield and third base), Wayne Kirby (outfield and first base) and Danny Barnes (assistant major league coach).

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.