Colorado Rockies rumors: Dave Magadan pursued as hitting coach

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 09: Hitting coach Dave Magadan #18 of the Arizona Diamondbacks watches batting practice prior to a game against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on April 9, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 09: Hitting coach Dave Magadan #18 of the Arizona Diamondbacks watches batting practice prior to a game against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on April 9, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS – Needing to fill a vacancy on the Colorado Rockies coaching staff, rumors are swirling in Las Vegas that Dave Magadan is among the lead candidates to be the team’s new hitting coach.

Magadan, 55, is familiar with the Colorado Rockies and the National League West. He is a 16-year former big leaguer who parted ways with the Arizona Diamondbacks in October. That ended a three-year stint as their hitting coach.

With the Snakes, Magadan’s hitters set a franchise record for home runs with 220 in 2017. However, in 2018, Arizona was one of the worst-hitting teams in all of baseball with a .235 batting average, which led to Magadan’s departure. Part of Arizona’s issues, however, stemmed from massive injury issues as third baseman Jake Lamb and outfielders Steven Souza Jr. and A.J. Pollock were all bit by the bug.

Magadan would be asked to come in and help a Colorado team that struggled as well last season. In 2018, the Rockies shuffled along for the second straight year, hitting just .256 and establishing a franchise low in that area. Following the season, the Rockies parted ways with their hitting coach, Duane Espy, who had been in Denver for two years. Espy had worked for the Rockies in some capacity at some level since 2003.

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Jeff Salazar, 37, who has been the assistant hitting coach the last two seasons and will return in 2018. That was confirmed by Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich on Monday morning during an impromptu media conference with Rox Pile and other media members on the Mandalay Bay casino floor here in Las Vegas.

Magadan saw action with seven teams during his Major League career that ran from 1986-2001. Seven of those seasons came with the New York Mets, including a 1990 campaign where he finished 22nd in National League Most Valuable Player voting after logging a .328/.417/.457 slash line.

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He played with final three seasons with the San Diego Padres.