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Mark Grace Named Diamondbacks Assistant Hitting Coach

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The popular former Cub has a new job.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone here is familiar with former Cub star Mark Grace's spectacular fall from... well, you know.

There's room for second chances for everyone in life, I think, and credit to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who used to employ him as a broadcaster, for giving Grace a chance to get into coaching in 2014.

Now, we learn that Grace will have a major-league coaching job in Arizona in 2015:

Former Major Leaguer and broadcaster Mark Grace joined the D-backs on Thursday to be assistant hitting coach, while Glenn Sherlock was moved from third-base to bench coach and Andy Green was named third-base coach.

In addition, Mike Harkey (pitching), Dave McKay (first base), Mel Stottlemyre Jr. (bullpen) and Turner Ward (hitting) will return to the coaching positions they held this past season, and Henry Blanco was reassigned from assistant hitting coach to bullpen coach/catcher.

There are some other Cub connections there -- Harkey, a former Cubs pitcher and No. 1 draft pick in 1987; McKay, who was the Cubs' first-base and outfield coach in 2012 and 2013, and, of course, Blanco. I'm actually sorry that Blanco was hired by the Diamondbacks; I thought he might someday return to the Cubs as a coach. He always seemed to be a good clubhouse guy and was a mentor to Geovany Soto.

Grace wasn't really any good at broadcasting and I had often thought during his playing career that he would make a good coach. Had he taken that career path right after he retired from playing after the 2003 season, he might have even been on a managerial track. Imagine that.

Grace was given an assignment as hitting coach for the D'backs short-season team in the Northwest League, the Hillsboro (Oregon) Hops, in 2014, but the link above says that his 2015 job might actually have happened last summer:

Grace was the hitting coach for the D-backs' Arizona League rookie team in 2013 and would have been their assistant hitting coach in 2014 had Blanco made the roster. But when Tuffy Gosewisch made the team as backup catcher, Blanco became the assistant hitting coach, and Grace was assigned to be the hitting coach for the D-backs' Northwest League team, the Hillsboro Hops.

I wish Mark Grace the best; he seems to be making the most of his chance for redemption. His hire means he'll be back at Wrigley Field, in uniform, for the D'backs, when Arizona visits Chicago next September 4, 5 and 6 -- Labor Day weekend, if you're making plans.