Former Chicago White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker will interview for the Braves’ hitting-coach position this week. The Braves fired first-year hitting coach Larry Parrish two days after the season ended.
Walker, 52, is a Georgia native and former major league player who spent 8-1/2 seasons as White Sox hitting coach before resigning after the 2011 season. He has also reportedly been contacted by San Diego about the Padres’ hitting-coach position.
The Sox ranked eighth in the 14-team American League this season in average (.252), seventh in on-base percentage (.319) and 11th in on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.706), down from sixth in OPS (.752) in 2010.
They were 11th in the AL in runs in 2011, seventh in 2010 and 12th in 2009.
Walker was consistently praised by Paul Konerko for his work with the slugging first baseman over the years, drew criticism after former University of Georgia star Gordon Beckham’s regression since his 2009 rookie season and Adam Dunn’s career-worst season in 2011, after the former Reds and Nationals slugger signed a huge free-agent contract with Chicago.
The Braves have not commented on their hitting-coach search and how many candidates might be interviewed. General manager Frank Wren has said only that the search would be far-reaching and that there was no timetable or rush to hire.