The Tigers have added former outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. to their major league coaching staff, the team announced. He’ll “focus on hitting instruction,” according to the Tigers. While the Tigers didn’t name an exact role for Cruz, it appears he will be their assistant hitting coach to Scott Coolbaugh, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com observes. Cruz spent 1997-2008 with a handful of different major league teams and clubbed 204 home runs. He has since worked for the MLBPA and as an ESPN analyst. He’s now part of the same organization as his son, infielder Trei Cruz, whom the Tigers drafted in the third round last summer.
- The Pirates announced a number of additions to their baseball operations staff via a press release. Pittsburgh hired Rafael Freitas as their new Major League Head Athletic Trainer, Terence Brannic as Head Major League Strength & Conditioning Coach, Adam Vish as a Strength & Conditioning Coach, and Seth Steinhauer joins the Major League staff as Physical Therapist after sour seasons as the Pirates’ minor league rehab coordinator. Josh Hopper heads to Pittsburgh from the college ranks as the Coordinator of Pitching Development. Hopper spent the last three seasons as pitching coach at Dallas Baptist University after nine seasons in the same role with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- The Royals don’t have any staff additions to announce, but they are adding a new video board that will cover the Hall of Fame wall in left field, writes Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter). The team has released a series of tweets here, and here, showing the construction project getting underway. The new board will be the tallest HDR video board in baseball with 5.1 million total pixels.