The open spot in the Cubs coaching staff is open no longer.
Carrie Muskat has the news:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Cubs&src=hash">#Cubs</a> name Eric Hinske as 1st base coach</p>— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) <a href="https://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/statuses/407969678670041088">December 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Hinske joins new manager Rick Renteria's staff after a twelve-year major league career, which ended when the Diamondbacks released him last July. Hinske was a slugging corner infielder who hit 137 career home runs and won the Rookie of the Year Award with Toronto in 2002.
Before all that, however, Hinske was a 17th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1998. He was the Cubs #11 prospect according to Baseball America after the 2000 season in which he hit .259 with a .373 OBP with 20 home runs and 14 steals. But the Cubs always had a lot of depth at third base and so GM Andy MacPhail shipped him to Toronto for Miguel Cairo at the end of spring training in 2001. Wait a minute. That's not right. The Cubs have historically had a black hole at third base. Man, that was a terrible trade. (In fairness, the Cubs also had David Kelton in the farm system at that time and he was considered the better of the two prospects, even if he only ended up having a couple of cups of coffee in the majors. That's still no reason to trade Hinske away for Cairo though.)
Ironically, the third baseman for the Cubs that year coming out of spring training was the Cubs new hitting coach, Bill Mueller.
So finally all these years later, it's time to welcome back Eric Hinske to the Cubs.
UPDATE: Here's the complete press release.
CUBS NAME ERIC HINSKE MAJOR LEAGUE FIRST BASE COACH
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Eric Hinske as the club’s major league first base coach, completing manager Rick Renteria’s staff for the 2014 campaign.
Hinske, 36, last season wrapped up a 12-year major league career that included 2002 American League Rookie of the Year honors with Toronto and three-straight World Series appearances bookended by championships with Boston in 2007 and the New York Yankees in 2009. Hinske was originally selected by the Cubs in the 17th round of the 1998 Draft.
Overall, Hinske played 1,387 major league games with Toronto (2002-06), Boston (2006-07), Tampa Bay (2008), Pittsburgh (2009), the Yankees (2009), Atlanta (2010-12) and Arizona (2013), finishing his career with a .249 batting average (947-for-3797), 240 doubles, 137 home runs and 522 RBI.
Today’s announcement rounds out Renteria’s coaching staff as Hinske joins Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Gary Jones (third base coach), Bill Mueller (hitting coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching and strategy coach), Mike Brumley (assistant hitting coach) and Franklin Font (staff assistant).
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