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12/08/09 8:35 PM ET
Nunnally rounds out Acta's new staff
Former Tribe outfielder to serve as hitting coach
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- Manny Acta's coaching staff is complete.
Acta has selected Jon Nunnally as his hitting coach, rounding out a staff that also includes pitching coach Tim Belcher, bullpen coach Scott Radinsky, bench coach Tim Tolman, third-base and infield coach Steve Smith and first-base and catching coach Sandy Alomar Jr.
Nunnally, Belcher and Radinsky were promoted from within, while Tolman, Smith and Alomar were brought in from outside the organization. Smith is the only coach without a previous career tie to the Tribe.
Acta selected Nunnally over another in-house candidate, Minor League field coordinator Dave Hudgens, who is a former Major League hitting coach with the A's. Acta interviewed both men last week.
After a 15-year professional career as an outfielder, Nunnally began coaching in the Tribe's system in 2007 at Class A Kinston. He spent two years with the K-Tribe before moving up the ranks to Columbus in '09. Under his tutelage, the Clippers led the International League in batting average (.275), while Jordan Brown led the league in batting average and Andy Marte showed marked improvement at the plate.
In adding Nunnally to his staff in his first year at the helm, Acta is going with a coach who has close working familiarity with many of the Tribe's young hitters. And designated hitter Travis Hafner, whose progress in his continuing recovery from 2008 shoulder surgery will be a focal point of the offense, was reportedly vocal in his support of Nunnally as a candidate. The two worked together when Pronk was on a rehab assignment at Columbus in '09.
Nunnally, 38, was a third-round Draft pick by the Tribe in 1992. He went on to play with seven different organizations from 1992-2006, including parts of six seasons at the big league level with the Royals (1995-97), Reds ('97-98), Red Sox ('99) and Yankees (2000). He compiled a career Major League average of .246 with 47 doubles, 42 homers and 125 RBIs in 364 games. He tested positive for performance-enhancing substances and was suspended for 15 games while playing in the Pirates' system in '05.