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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
D-backs name Schu hitting coach, replacing Seitzer

Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks changed hitting coaches on Wednesday, promoting Rick Schu to replace Kevin Seitzer.

Arizona trails San Diego by 3 1/2 games in the NL West. The Diamondbacks have stayed in contention despite a .248 team batting average.

Schu, in his 10th season with the Arizona system, was the organization's hitting coordinator. Seitzer was in his first year as the Diamondbacks hitting coach.

"I think for most of the season our offense hasn't been quite as consistent as we'd like, especially this last stretch, it really cost us some games," general manager Josh Byrnes said in a telephone interview. "It's unfair to say that Kevin Seitzer is to blame for that, but it's a change we need to make."

The move comes after a 2-8 road trip that ended with a three-game sweep at Cincinnati last weekend -- and two days before the Diamondbacks open a three-game series at home against San Diego.

Arizona's batting average is 15th in the NL, and the Diamondbacks' 371 runs rank 12th.

The 45-year-old Schu, who had a .246 batting average over parts of nine major league seasons, also served as the Diamondbacks' hitting coach in 2004. He was the farm system's hitting coordinator in 2003 and from 2005 until Wednesday's move.

"I think he has a lot of perspective to try to get us back on track and get the offense going in the right direction," Byrnes said.