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Tampa Bay Rays Fire Hitting Coach Derek Shelton

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The Rays have relieved their longtime hitting coach of his position

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays made another surprising move now as they have relieved longtime hitting coach, Derek Shelton of his duties and have promoted Chad Mottola to take his place.

Derek Shelton had served as the Rays hitting coach since being hired after the 2009 season, taking over for Steve Henderson. The Rays offense since that time has often been inconsistent as the team has relied on stellar pitching to stay in contention. However, in 2016, the Rays offense has actually been the main strength of club in what has become a lost season.

Chad Mottola joined the Rays organization in November of 2013 as a minor league hitting coordinator, a position he has held until this afternoon. Mottola was previously the hitting coach of the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2013 season and he also spent 15 years in playing professional baseball from 1992 to 2007 with a couple of major league stints with the Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, and the Miami Marlins

Mottola will join the Rays this weekend on their upcoming series in New York with the Yankees. Once Mottola officially takes the position he will become already the 7th hitting coach in Rays history.