Hitting coach Dave Hudgens was fired on Monday. He’s been replaced with minor league hitting coordinator Lamar Johnson…
May 27, 9:10 am: According to Hudgens, his hitters have been trying too hard, especially at Citi Field, where fans have been very critical.
“I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home,” he explained (MLB.com, May 27). “It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it. And they’re trying really hard at home. You can see it in the statistics. The fly-ball rates went up, the swing-and-miss rates went up at home. I think we were first in the league in runs scored on the road, so I think guys were relaxed on the road. They could just go out and play the game, don’t worry about anything. Then at home, they’re trying to do so much.”
Hudgens said the silver lining to being fired is not having to listen to SNY’s broadcast booth constantly criticize his hitting philosophy.
“I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out,” he told reporter Marc Carig (Newsday, May 27). “It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really.”
May 26, 5:18 pm: Alderson announced Hudgens had been fired, and replaced by Johnson, after Monday’s loss to the Pirates.
“I think he understood the circumstances,” Alderson explained. “This is in response to a specific situation, and nothing else should be read into it,” he added, when asked if he expects to make further changes to the coaching staff.
He is replaced by Lamar Johnson, who has been the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator.
Johnson, who has worked closely with several of the team’s young hitters, has been with the organization for 11 years, Alderson said.
Hudgens had been in his fourth season as hitting coach. He also worked for Alderson when with the Oakland A’s, serving as a minor-league manager, hitting instructor and talent evaluator.