Rockies tab Bichette as hitting coach

The Colorado Rockies have hired former slugger Dante Bichette to be their new hitting coach, the team announced on Tuesday.

Bichette represented the Rockies in four All-Star games while playing with the club from 1993-1999. Since his retirement from baseball in 2001, he has been working with hitters at the youth and high school level, but will get his first shot at coaching in the majors with the Rockies.

"It's a passion of mine since I was 10 years old; I'm infatuated with hitting," Bichette said. "People ask me what I've been doing since I retired, and I tell them almost nothing has changed. I've been throwing batting practice and working with hitters. It's something I love to do, and would love to have the chance to do it at the major league level."

Bichette will replace former hitting coach Carney Lansford, who was let go at the end of the season. He will reunite with new Rockies manager Walt Weiss, whom Bichette played with while in Colorado during the 1990's.