Rangers name Rick Down Spokane hitting coach

The Texas Rangers today announced the completion of the staff for Spokane Indians, the club's rookie-level affiliate in the Northwest League, by hiring Rick Down as hitting coach and Salomon Manriquez as a coach.

Down most recently served as the roving hitting instructor for the New York Yankees during the 2012 campaign. It was his third stint with the Yankees, as he also worked as a hitting instructor and manager within the Yankee farm system and was the club's major league hitting coach from 1993-95. He has also served as a hitting coach at the Major League level with the New York Mets (2005-07), Boston (2001), Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2000), and Baltimore (1996-98). Prior to his latest post with New York, the 63-year-old held the same position with the Seattle Mariners in 2011 and worked as an advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010.

Down played eight seasons in the minor leagues as a third baseman, batting .257 with 92 doubles, 31 triples, 36 home runs, and 217 RBI with the Montreal (1969-75) and Seattle (1978) organizations. The Michigan native was originally selected by the Expos in the 74th round of the 1969 First-Year Player Draft. 

Manriquez, 31, returns to the Texas organization as a coach for the Indians this season. The former minor league catcher spent the entire 2007 campaign with Double-A Frisco, batting .275 with a career-best 16 home runs. Manriquez played 14 seasons at the minor league level after he was signed by the Montreal Expos as a non-drafted free agent in 1999.

Down and Manriquez join pitching coach Jose Jaimes on the staff of Spokane manager Tim Hulett, who enters his eighth season with the Indians. Spokane's season begins on Friday, June 13.