Rays hire Derek Shelton as hitting coach

Oct 21, 2009 - 4:46 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP) -- Derek Shelton has been hired by the Tampa Bay Rays as the team's hitting coach.

The 39-year-old spent the last five seasons in the same position with the Cleveland Indians. The move Wednesday fills a spot on manager Joe Maddon's staff that opened when Steve Henderson was fired.

During Shelton's time with the Indians, Cleveland ranked fifth in the major leagues in runs and seventh in team batting average. Before joining the Indians, he spent six seasons in the New York Yankees organization.

Tampa Bay set club records for runs, homers, on-base percentage and walks this season. Henderson was fired because of concerns about situational hitting woes that contributed to the Rays' third-place finish in the AL East following their AL pennant in 2008.

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