The transition should be an easy one for new Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers, who was named to the position on Saturday.
Hyers, 46, spent three years in the organization as an amateur scout before being promoted to minor league hitting coordinator. He returns after spending two seasons as assistant hitting coach of the Dodgers.
Hyers was on the Red Sox major league coaching staff for four months in 2014, helping out after hitting coach Greg Colbrunn suffered a brain hemorrhage. So he has worked personally with many of the players, including Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia, and Christian Vazquez.
Andy Barkett, a veteran minor league manager, was named assistant hitting coach.
The Dodgers scored 15 fewer runs than the Red Sox this past season but hit 53 more home runs. The Sox believe there is more power to be had from players already on the roster, Bogaerts in particular.
Under former hitting coaches Chili Davis and Victor Rodriguez, the Red Sox were proponents of a traditional line drive approach and generally eschewed the concept of incorporating more “launch angle” into swings to chase home runs.
The Dodgers advocated uppercut swings, raised their percentage of fly balls, and this past season hit a team-record 221 home runs. That 10 other teams hit more shows to what degree major league hitters have changed their swings.
In 2002, Hyers was the hitting coach for Single A West Michigan in the Detroit organization. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was running the Tigers at the time.
Hyers played professionally from 1990-99 with five organizations. In 1999, Dombrowski signed Hyers as a free agent for the Marlins. He played in 58 major league games that season.
Barkett also has ties to Dombrowski. He managed in the Tigers system from 2007-10 before moving on to the Marlins organization for five seasons. Barkett was minor league hitting coordinator for the Pirates in 2015 and last season managed Triple A Indianapolis to a 79-63 record.
In 2008, Barkett managed Red Sox righthander Rick Porcello in Single A.
Barkett played professionally from 1995-2005 and had 17 games in the majors.
With new manager Alex Cora set for a formal introduction at Fenway Park on Monday, the Sox need only a pitching coach to complete their coaching staff.
Larry Rothschild, pitching coach of the Yankees the last seven seasons, is technically available as New York searches for a new manager. But the belief is the Yankees will want him to return.
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