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Indians to hire Quatraro as assistant hitting coach

CLEVELAND -- The Indians will have an extra pair of eyes in the batting cage next season.

Cleveland has hired Matt Quatraro to serve as the team's assistant hitting coach, confirmed on Wednesday. The hiring of Quatraro, who will work alongside Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, has not officially been announced by the club.

Quatraro worked as the Rays' Minor League hitting coordinator over the past four seasons, following previous roles as a manager and catching instructor within Tampa Bay's farm system. During parts of seven Minor League seasons, Quatraro hit .286 with 23 home runs and 202 RBIs in 415 games after being taken by the Rays in the eighth round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft.

The Rays made Quatraro the first of their former Minor League players to join the organization's coaching ranks.

Quatraro, who will turn 40 on Thursday, will fill a role that Luis Ortiz -- a Minor League hitting coordinator for the Indians -- held with Cleveland in September after rosters expanded. Ortiz also interviewed for the full-time position on manager Terry Francona's coaching staff.

During Van Burkleo's first year as Cleveland's hitting coach last season, the Indians finished among the top five teams in the American League in runs (745), walks (562), stolen bases (117), extra-base hits (484) and on-base percentage (.327). Cleveland ranked sixth in the league in OPS (.737) and eighth in average (.255), while setting a single-season franchise record for strikeouts (1,283).

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.

Cleveland Indians