Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo has elected to opt out of the season over coronavirus concerns, Zack Meisel of The Athletic was among those to report. He’ll continue to assist the club remotely. Meanwhile, Alex Eckelman will join the big league staff to join Victor Rodriguez and Justin Toole as coaches who will work with the Indians’ hitters in person, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com tweets.
Van Burkleo has been the hitting coach in Cleveland since before the 2013 season. While it’s difficult to quantify how much impact a coach can have on a team’s production, the team’s offense has generally been a strength since it hired Van Burkleo. The Indians are sixth in the majors in runs and ninth in wRC+ during his run on their staff.