Four games; four loses. The Washington Nationals have continued their early season struggles just a few days out from the MLB’s All- Star break Monday. In response to their weekend sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, General Manager Mike Rizzo decided a move had to be made.
He decided to relieve hitting coach Rick Eckstein of his duties. Eckstein had been the longest tenured Hitting coach in the NL East but someone had to be blamed for the club’s poor hitting. The squad ranked 27th in runs and 28th in batting average and even their vaunted pitching rotation was unable to win games with such poor offensive production.
In his replacement, the Nationals brought in hitting coach Rick Shu who had previously been the team’s minor league hitting coordinator. Shu has worked in the past with several current nationals and has 16 years of experience as a hitting coach working for parts of the last four seasons with Arizona. Rick will be looked to make quick improvements with the Nationals’ hitters who hope to make a run at a second consecutive NL East crown while sitting eight games back of the Atlanta Braves. They will continue their three game set with the Pirates tomorrow as they look to get back on track in Washington at 7:05.
Hitting coach Rick Eckstein (Right) was a long time friend of Manager Davey Johnson (Left)