Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays may hire assistant for hitting coach Derek Shelton

The Rays have no plans to get rid of hitting coach Derek Shelton, who, while praised by his boss, has been the target of public criticism for the team's offensive shortcoming.

But they may get him some help.

Rays officials are giving serious consideration to joining the growing number of teams that have hired a second, or assistant, hitting coach.

"We've had a lot of conversations about it since the end of the season and are continuing to discuss it," executive VP Andrew Friedman said Friday.

Doing so has two obvious benefits.

One is adding a person to share the increasingly growing workload, which includes breaking down video, reviewing scouting reports, holding small group hitting sessions in early afternoon, working individually with players in the cages and running batting practice.

The other is having a second voice, though speaking from the same script, to help get through to 13 position players of different backgrounds, statures and learning styles.

The Cardinals, Braves and Padres had second hitting coaches in 2012, and several other teams had unofficial assistants. When the Phillies joined them last week (hiring Wally Joyner to work with new hitting coach Steve Henderson, the ex-Rays coach), GM Ruben Amaro told the Philadelphia Inquirer it's a better system because "different guys take in information in different ways. I think it's important for our players to see different points of view and get information in different ways."

Having a second coach could make even more sense for the Rays given manager Joe Maddon's preference for letting players prepare individually rather than taking full onfield batting practice anyway. Though the extra coach can't be in the dugout during games, he, in theory, could be watching video or working with hitters in the cage. The Rays have carried a seventh coach in the past, either as "quality assurance" or as an assistant to pitching coach Jim Hickey, but didn't in 2012.

RAY-ROD?: Alex Rodriguez and the Yanks say there's no divorce planned, and the Marlins have been the team most speculated upon if they do. But what about the Rays?

You'd think there would be at least some interest as a DH, and some appeal to A-Rod, who has a complete no-trade clause. And some concern to the Yanks of keeping him in the division. From there, it's probably primarily a matter of money: a sliding scale, much closer to free than the $114 million he's owed, where it would make sense for the Rays to inquire.

RAYS RUMBLINGS: If the Blue Jays do let manager John Farrell go to Boston, that could renew their interest in bench coach Dave Martinez, who was a 2010 candidate. … The Phillies already were a possibility for free-agent-to-be CF B.J. Upton, and hiring Henderson, whom he liked working with, could make them a front-runner. … Interesting that Fernando Rodney won the AL comeback player of the year award voted by writers but wasn't named one of the three finalists by his peers, for the Players Choice version: L.A.'s Kendry Morales; Chicago's Adam Dunn, Alex Rios. … Gerry Hunsicker left for the Dodgers front office saying he "felt like we accomplished" what he hoped to in seven years in a senior VP role, and with "nothing but respect and admiration" for Rays officials and praise for the unique culture they created. … Friedman spent last week watching the Arizona Fall League players, who include Tim Beckham and Hak-Ju Lee. … Alumni news: LHP Wilson Alvarez will be the pitching coach for Venezuela's World Baseball Classic team; DH Pat Burrell is doing advance playoffs scouting for the Giants still very much the same guy he was as a player; DH Paul Sorrento is now the Angels' minor-league hitting coordinator.

Rays may hire assistant for hitting coach Derek Shelton 10/20/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 4:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.