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A's shuffle coaches with Kotsay on leave

Alston named bullpen coach after Emerson's promotion
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's coaching staff was restructured yet again Monday, with the announcement that bench coach Mark Kotsay will be taking an indefinite leave of absence to tend to a family matter.

In addition, the A's hired Garvin Alston as their new bullpen coach -- a role previously assumed by Scott Emerson, who was named pitching coach after longtime A's employee Curt Young was relieved of his duties Thursday.

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OAKLAND -- The A's coaching staff was restructured yet again Monday, with the announcement that bench coach Mark Kotsay will be taking an indefinite leave of absence to tend to a family matter.

In addition, the A's hired Garvin Alston as their new bullpen coach -- a role previously assumed by Scott Emerson, who was named pitching coach after longtime A's employee Curt Young was relieved of his duties Thursday.

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With Kotsay away from the team, Chip Hale will shift from third-base coaching duties to acting bench coach duties, a job he's held under manager Bob Melvin in the past. Steve Scarsone, who has been serving as a traveling instructor in the A's organization after several years as one of their Minor League managers, was named the acting third-base coach.

According to A's general manager David Forst, Kotsay is "hopeful of returning at some point this season" but will remain with his family while his 11-year-old daughter, Sienna, recovers from an unfortunate accident. Forst said she was struck in the right eye at close range by a tennis ball last week, suffering partial vision loss.

"Mark will stay with his family as they seek the opinion of specialists," Forst said, "and remain as long as needed through the healing and recovery process."

Alston was a natural choice to fill the bullpen coach vacancy, Forst noted, because of his familiarity with the organization. He was a coach in the A's Minor League system from 2005-15, before joining former D-backs manager Hale as his bullpen coach last year.

"A lot of familiarity, similar to Emo, with a lot of the guys that are here now," Melvin said. "It's always nice to have someone that doesn't have to start from square one. He knows what we're all about and understands the direction that we're going, and on top of that, he has a really good way about him."

Alston, who also played professionally for parts of nine seasons, including a six-game Major League stint with the Rockies in 1996, joined the A's on Monday for the start of a four-game series with Houston at the Coliseum.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics