Two-time NPB MVP Alex Ramirez has retired, Jun Hongo of the Wall Street Journal Japan reports. The 40-year-old Ramirez played briefly for the Indians and Pirates between 1998 and 2000, but it wasn’t until he headed to Yakult for the 2001 season that his career really got going. He hit 29 homers that year and quickly emerged as one of the most feared sluggers in Japan, hitting 40 or more home runs three times in his career. Ramirez finished his NPB career in 2013 with 380 homers for Yakult, Yomiuri and Yokohama, then played and coached last season with the independent Gunma Diamond Pegasus club. Here are more notes from around the Majors.
- Athletics hitting coach Chili Davis has left the team to become the new hitting coach of the Red Sox, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com tweets. Davis hit 350 home runs in a 19-year career with the Giants, Angels, Twins, Royals and Yankees, then worked in the Dodgers and Red Sox systems before signing on with the Athletics prior to the 2012 season. In his previous stint with the Red Sox, Davis served as the hitting coach at Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox will begin interviewing candidates for their assistant hitting coach position this week, Bradford and Alex Speier report.
- With Davis out, the Athletics are now looking for a hitting coach, and one candidate is Angels assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Angels could also promote Hansen to replace Don Baylor, who missed much of last season with a freak leg injury. Hansen, known as a pinch-hitter throughout much of his career, played 15 seasons with the Dodgers, Cubs, Padres and Mariners. The Athletics could also consider Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan, Slusser tweets.
- If the A’s do have interest in Magadan, the won’t be the only ones. Davis had previously been a top candidate for the open Yankees hitting coach job, and the Yankees could now turn to Magadan, who interviewed Wednesday, George A. King III and John DeMarzo of the New York Post report. The former infielder played 16 seasons with the Mets, Marlins, Mariners, Astros, Cubs, Athletics and Padres.
- Barry Zito’s seven-year contract with the Giants didn’t turn out so well, but he did help them land Tim Hudson, Ryan Hood of MLB.com writes. When both pitchers were free agents last winter, Hudson called his former Athletics teammate to see what he thought of playing in San Francisco. “I said it’s a first-rate organization, from the top down,” says Zito, who assured Hudson that Giants fans had changed since the two pitchers had played together in Oakland. “Giants fans had a little more of a rep of just coming out for baseball games and not really having a die-hard presence and creating an intimidating atmosphere. It was very light. I told him 2010 changed everything.” Hudson posted a 3.57 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 189 1/3 innings for the Giants this season. Zito, meanwhile, says he determined in August 2013 that he would “take some time away from the game and focus on family.” He did not pitch this season.
I can’t believe Zito made over 135 MM in his career. He had a fine career, but I still can’t believe Sabean gave him 126 MM when he was already showing signs of decline, and I can’t believe even more than with four more wins this year SF will have the most WS titles since the Zito contract began.
As a Giants fan, it was obvious that Zito’s contract turned out badly, but his 2012 postseason performances in NLCS Game 5 and World Series Game 1 forgave all the bad years he had with SF. And helping us land Hudson is an added bonus. I hope Zito comes back to baseball at some point.
I really have to wonder who is actually on the Brewers’ list for our new hitting coach. Kevin Long? Whoever it is, I want them soon so that they can get to work on fixing Jean Segura. Also, I have this feeling that Pat Listach is going to end up on our coaching staff, be it first base coach or hitting coach. I saw the Astros informed him he wouldn’t be coming back, and unless I’m mistaken, we did interview Listach back in 2010 for our managerial opening before hiring Roenicke.
There’s a good chance that there’s nothing about Segura to fix, other than the expectations. The probability that he’s a 255-265 hitter who isn’t going to walk is a pretty decent chance. He’s probably not quite as awful as he was in 2014 just from a luck standpoint, but I don’t see anything in his batted ball profile that screams good-big-league-hitter, though, either.
Is there anything you can’t tell from his batted ball profile?
That he had a lucky first half of 2013 that was way out of line from anything he had done before so some started to believe he was a 5+ Win player.
That doesn’t answer what I asked.
It is interesting that you compared his batted ball data from the minor and Winter leagues with his MLB data though.
That he lost his son tragically during the season.
That’s fair. I just need him to get to that .255-.265 level. I know he isn’t as good as the first half of 2013, but I really doubt he’s as bad as he was this season. As far as fixing him, I really mean just working with him to get him to be sound at the plate. Stop taking Carlos Gomez-like swings at the plate when you simply don’t have that kind of power. That’s more why I want the new hitting coach in here quickly. I understand he’s never going to be a really patient hitter, I just want him taking better swings.
With Davis in Boston i would assume that means Magadan will become the next Yankee hitting coach. Unless an unnamed person was interviewed for the position.
I guess Chili Davis had a good relationship with Cespedes for the Red Sox to be doing this?
Doubt that has anything to do with it. Oakland’s team hitting philosophy and Boston’s are the same, and the Red Sox probably pay more. So it makes sense that the Red Sox would be interested in hiring him, and that Davis would be interested in working for them.
He was the PawSox hitting coach in 2011 so he and the Red Sox have some familiarity with each other.
I wonder if any of these teams should approach Tommy Gregg about a hitting coach position?
C’mon Cincinnati! You’re missing a chance at a built in Skyline ad campaign if you hire Chili Davis.