BRADENTON, Fla. -- There may be no more volatile job in the major leagues today than hitting coach.
Teams seemingly change hitting coaches about as often as managers change relief pitchers. Inevitably, general managers will give the reason for making the switch as the hitters “needing to hear a different voice.”
That was exactly the Pirates’ rationale for switching hitting coaches at the end of last season. Jeff Branson and assistant Jeff Livesey were fired, and Rick Eckstein and Jacob Cruz were hired in their place.