Jun 3, 2011, 12:32 AM EDT
PHOENIX — As his team has struggled much of the season to produce offensively, Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein has remained mostly out of the public eye. Restricted from speaking to reporters by general manager Mike Rizzo, Eckstein has been mostly holed up where he spends the bulk of his day: In the batting cage, tirelessly working with his players.
Eckstein admits he takes the Nationals' offensive woes personally; it's all part of being a coach at the big-league level. He's also encouraged by what he's seen over the last week or two. After their batting average bottomed out at .223 following back-to-back shutouts in New York May 18-19, the Nationals have hit .267 over their last 12 games, averaging 4.8 runs (up from 3.7).
Earlier this evening, before the Nationals took batting practice at Chase Field for the opener of a four-game series with the Diamondbacks, Eckstein was made available to reporters for the first time in about four weeks. Here's the full transcript of his group session…
On what he's seen in recent days from the Nats' lineup:
RICK ECKSTEIN: "Things have started to come together a little bit. There's been an excitement as this last series against Philadelphia. Guys are starting to settle in. There's starting to get a little moreRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
TUE: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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