Derek Shelton has been fired by the Tampa Bay Rays, effective immediately, the team has announced.

Chad Mottola has been promoted to take his place. Mottolla has spent the last three seasons as the Rays’ minor league hitting instructor.

“We are grateful for all that Derek has given to the Rays for the past seven seasons. He brought great energy to our clubhouse and his work ethic with our hitters was outstanding,” President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman said in a statement. “We decided it was time for a new voice. Chad has worked with players throughout the organization for several years now, and we are excited for the perspectives and experiences he will bring to this role.”

Shelton has been the Rays’ hitting coach since 2010. Mottola will be the seventh hitting coach in Rays history. He was previously the hitting coach for the Blue Jays in 2013.

Mottola played 59 games in the big leagues in parts of six seasons with the Reds, Blue Jays, Marlins, and Orioles. He did spent part of one season in the Rays organization, playing 59 games for the Durham Bulls in 2003.

He is probably best remembered as being the player drafted (No. 5 overall) just before Derek Jeter in the 1992 MLB Draft.



  1. Rob says:

    Wow. Will be interesting to see what happens from here.

  2. Geoff Peterson says:

    It can't get worse. Hopefully for next year Mottola works on a contact hitting approach to get away from all these strikeouts. The better hitting teams will contact hit you to death, fouling off pitch after pitch until the pitcher grooves one. HRs are great but the Ks have killed this team under Shelton, especially with RISP.

  3. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Long overdue.


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