Nationals Fire Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein

The Nationals, struggling mightly at the plate, have fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein.

Despite essentially retaining their lineup from last season that collectively hit .261, drove in 731 runs and hit 194 home runs  (all of which were in the top 10 league-wide), the Nationals have not been able to produce so far this season. Through 98 games, they have scored 362 runs, second-fewest in baseball, while hitting .240, fourth-worst.

Of course, when a team struggles like Washington (48-50) has, it usually costs someone his job, and since you cannot fire the players, the coaches are the ones to go. Manager Davey Johnson was reportedly unsupportive of the decision to fire Eckstein, who served as the team's hitting coach for nearly five years.

Rick Schu, who had been serving as the Nationals' minor-league hitting coordinator, will replace Eckstein. 

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