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Rockies have new roles for Weinstein, Lachemann

DENVER -- The Rockies have reassigned catching instructor Jerry Weinstein to a role in player development, and they have moved first-base coach Rene Lachemann to catching instructor and defensive positioning coach.

The moves mean second-year manager Walt Weiss, who on Tuesday signed a new three-year contract, will be looking for a new first-base coach and at least one hitting coach to replace Dante Bichette, who resigned after one season. The Rockies are discussing whether to go with a hitting coach/assistant hitting coach setup, the way they do with their pitching.

Weinstein, who turns 70 on Nov. 9, has been the catching instructor the past two seasons as the Rockies have tried to develop Wilin Rosario at the Major League level. Rosario skipped Triple-A during the 2011 season and has been the primary catcher the past two years.

The move to player development is designed to take advantage of Weinstein's many years of coaching experience in pro and college baseball. Weinstein spent five years managing in the Rockies' system at high Class A Modesto before joining the Major League staff. Prior to joining the Rockies, Weinstein held several duties, including head coach at Sacramento City College for 23 seasons, player development director for the Dodgers from 2000-01, several jobs coaching catchers and pitchers at the collegiate and pro level, and serving as a Minor League manager in the Brewers', Expos' and Cubs' farm systems.

In addition to preparing for his new role, Weinstein is working on an extensive catching manual that will cover fundamental and advanced techniques, game-calling strategy and pitcher-catcher relationship advice. The book will be published by Coaches Choice, which has published more than 2,400 titles featuring coaches in their area of expertise.

It is the latest of several books Weinstein has authored or co-authored. Some have been pitching- and catching-specific, such as the self-published USA Baseball Pitching and Catching Manual, but others, like -- "Baseball Coach's Survival Guide: Practical Techniques and Materials for Building an Effective Program and a Winning Team," co-authored with Tom Alston (1998, Jossey-Bass) -- are general instruction guides.

"I like to write, people have helped me, and I like to share info," Weinstein said. "I've been doing this for over 50 years. I've not been specialized in this area only, but pitching and catching have been areas I've spent a lot of time on.

"I want to share my insights. They're not original thoughts, for sure, but they're things I've picked up over the years, through observations, through conversations."

Weinstein hopes to be finished with the book in December. It likely will have more than 1,000 photos, from Major League game action and collegiate players that Weinstein has enlisted for demonstration. As with many Coaches Choice titles, there will likely also be DVDs featuring the book's content.

Lachemann, 68, joined the Rockies' staff this year after spending the previous five seasons as hitting coach at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The new duties fall in line with Lachemann's background. He devised and relied on self-developed positioning charts as a big league coach and as manager with the Mariners (1981-83), Brewers (1984), Marlins (1993-96) and Cubs (2002 for one game), as well as in the Minors and winter ball. He was a catcher for three seasons with the Athletics (1965-66).

The Rockies will rely on Lachemann's experience and advanced scouting tools for defensive positioning.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.
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