The Angels announced that Mickey Hatcher has been removed from his job as the team's hitting coach. Hatcher will be replaced by Jim Eppard, who had been the hitting coach at Triple-A Salt Lake City. This was Hatcher's 13th year as the Angels' hitting coach, and his firing is surely a response to the club's overall lack of offense this season, particularly from Albert Pujols. (Ironically, Pujols hit three singles in today's 4-0 win over the A's.) Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times thinks this move came from owner Arte Moreno and is another sign that GM Jerry Dipoto is in charge of the team, not Mike Scioscia (both Twitter links).
Here are some items from around the majors…
- David Wright told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he hasn't been approached by the Mets about a contract extension and he hasn't thought about the possibility of in-season negotiations. We heard on Sunday that the Mets will likely offer Wright a multiyear contract, possibly sometime this summer.
- Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan, both free agents after the season, told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that they'd be open to midseason contract talks with the Giants but are both just focused on baseball for now.
- Danny Duffy's Tommy John surgery is just the latest blow in what has been a hard-luck season for the Royals, writes Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star. The Royals will essentially lose a year of control over Duffy (who will accumulate service time while on the DL) and "the pressure on the Royals…to sign a frontline starting pitcher this winter just intensified," said Mellinger.
- High school outfielder Byron Buxton holds the top spot in Baseball America's ranking of the top 100 prospects in the June amateur draft. The Astros hold the #1 overall selection.
- ESPN's Buster Olney looks at ten starting pitchers who could be trade candidates this summer.
- The early results of last offseason's trades are evaluated by MLB.com's Joey Nowak.
- Marlins Park is proving to be very pitcher-friendly, but Marlins president David Samson told reporters (including Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post) that the team wasn't planning to move in the fences after the season.