Jamie Nelson, a longtime member of the Tampa Bay Rays' minor league staff, has been promoted to assistant hitting coach to help Derek Shelton, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Nelson played in the majors briefly for the Seattle Mariners in 1983 and spent 11 other seasons in the minor leagues.
Nelson has been a part of the Rays' minor league staff for the last 13 seasons, spending the last five years as the minor league catching coordinator. The Rays are now part of an increasing trend in Major League Baseball, of teams hiring an assistant batting coach. Rays manager Joe Maddon says that both coaches need to deliver the same message, though not necessarily the same way:
"It's another pair of eyes to watch things and share some of the workload, whether it's looking at data or video, etc., besides just physical work," Maddon said. "And we kind of feel like Jamie and Shelty together is going to be a natural fit."
Nelson will be a part of pre-game workouts but will not be allowed to sit in the dugout during the games. He will be allowed to work with the batters in the cages and the video room.