Angels Fire Hitting Coach Mickey Hatcher

National Sports

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) — Despite high preseason expectations, the Los Angeles Angels are struggling to score runs, and more importantly, stay competitive in the AL West division. In response to the team’s slow start, the team has fired longtime hitting coach Mickey Hatcher.

Hatcher joined the club back in 2000 around the same time the team hired manager Mike Scioscia. Triple-A Salt Lake hitting instructor Jim Eppard will replace Hatcher.

“Mickey is a terrific guy, well-liked, very energetic and hard working. This is about providing a different voice for our offensive players,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “It’s a results-oriented business we’re in and we need to find a way to string together something better than what we are right now.”

Despite the addition of slugger Albert Pujols to the team during the offseason, the Angles rank 22nd in runs scored and are already seven games behind the first place Texas Rangers in the standings.

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