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Royals tap Brett as interim hitting coach

The SportsXchange

The Kansas City Royals turned to a franchise icon to help cure the team's hitting woes.

The team announced the hiring of the Hall-of-Famer George Brett on an interim basis Thursday. He will share the job with Pedro Grifol, a former career minor-leaguer. Previous hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David were reassigned within the organization.

The Royals offense to this point has lacked power, with just 28 home runs in 50 games. They rank 14th in the AL in slugging percentage, and 13th in runs scored. Young players Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas haven't developed as quickly as hoped.

One day earlier, Maloof blamed Kauffman Stadium for the team's power deficiency.

"There is just no reward here (for us) to try and hit home runs," Maloof told "We try to stay down on the ball, be more line-drive oriented, and do more situational hitting at least through the first two or three rounds (at home) here. That's why I'm not overly concerned because I think we'll lead the league in fewest home runs again this year."

Park or not, the Royals are 4-19 in their past 23 games, and have hit .249 as a team.

Brett, who turned 60, earlier this month, batted .305 with 3,154 hits in a 21-year Major League career, all with the Royals. The 13-time All-Star won three batting titles and an MVP.

He is a well-known disciple of legendary hitting coach Charlie Lau.

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