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11/28/11 4:25 PM EST
Narron leaves to become Brewers' hitting coach
Hamilton's mentor reunited with brother in Milwaukee
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Brewers have hired Johnny Narron from the Rangers as their hitting coach to replace Dave Sveum, who is the Cubs' new manager.
Narron, the brother of former Rangers manager Jerry Narron, has been with the club the past four years. He was the assistant hitting coach working with Scott Coolbaugh and Thad Bosley this past season.
Narron was originally hired four years ago after the Rangers acquired outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Reds. The two have a long-time relationship and Narron was hired as a mentor to help Hamilton as he continued his recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
"Johnny filled two roles for us -- as an assistant hitting coach at the Major League level, and as part of the support network we'd put in place for Josh," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He added real value to the organization in both areas, and we want to thank him for that. He will be missed, but this is a great opportunity and we wish him well in it.
"We've been in touch with Josh -- before and after the hiring -- and will sit down to discuss the best way to move forward. We're confident we will continue to support Josh and all of our players as needed. In anticipation of losing Johnny, we had some discussion about this, but will be in better position to address that specifically once we've all put our heads together."
"Johnny is very talented and has helped me tremendously, both personally and professionally," Hamilton said. "He is fulfilling a dream to be a Major League batting coach and I have told him previously I would never stand in his way from doing that. We will stay in touch and I wish him great success with the Brewers."
Narron had a similar role with the Reds in 2007. The Reds acquired Hamilton in the Rule 5 Draft from the Rays and hired Narron as a video coordinator. Prior to that, he spent four years in the Brewers organization as a Minor League hitting coach and manager. Jerry Narron is currently on the Brewers staff as the bench coach.
"Johnny comes highly recommended by a number of experienced uniformed Major League personnel around baseball," Brewers GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. "He has been an instrumental part of a very productive offensive ballclub in Texas over the last four seasons. He is a hard-working individual who comes to the ballpark with a well-prepared plan each day."
Earlier this offseason, the Rangers lost farm director Scott Servais, who left to join the Angels as their assistant general manager under Jerry Dipoto. The Rangers are hoping to name a new farm director before the Winter Meetings, which begin on Dec. 5 in Dallas.
Jake Krug, who has been with the Rangers for nine years, spent the past two seasons as Servais' assistant while Mike Micucci served in the critical role of Minor League field coordinator.
The Rangers have multiple Minor League officials with Major League playing experience including Double-A manager Steve Buechele, Triple-A coach Spike Owen, special assignment coach Casey Candaele and special assistant Harry Spilman.
The Rangers are also monitoring the Astros' situation. New owner Jim Crane dismissed general manager Ed Wade on Sunday night and there has been speculation the Astros may seek permission to interview Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine or A.J. Preller, their director of player personnel.
As of Monday afternoon, the Astros had not approached the Rangers for permission to speak to either one.