|Photo by Keith Allison via WikiCommons|
According to sources close to Chris Cotillo, the longtime Cleveland Indian has agreed to officially join the coaching staff of Notre Dame College in Ohio as a volunteer assistant coach.
Source: Travis Hafner officially joins coaching staff of D2 Notre Dame College in Ohio. No word on if this means official retirement.Hafner, spent last season in New York as the Yankees primary designated hitter against right-handed pitching during the first half. In keeping with the narrative of the latter stages of his career, the 36-year old was besieged by injury once more, as rotator cuff inflammation made him a non-factor in the final months. In 82 games played, Hafner managed to post a .202/.301/.378 batting line with 12 home runs in 299 plate appearances. For his career, the twelve-year veteran found success terrorized opposing pitchers to the tune of a .273/.376/.498 clip with 213 lifetime home runs.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 15, 2014
While an official retirement announcement has not been released, it stands to reason that Hafner's long history of knee,back, and shoulder related ailments made him an unlikely candidate to sustain the rigors of a 162 game season even as a designated hitter. The reality of which, may have force him to settle for a minor league contact if he intends to play in 2014. A likelihood that Hafner himself, hasn't seem to have given up on.
"I'm working out every day, getting ready for the upcoming season,'' Hafner said. "The body and swing feel good.''In the meantime, Hafner will work under former Indians hurler Len Barker on the staff of the Notre Dame Falcons on their home field in Avon, Ohio.
"We're very excited to have Travis on board," Barker said in a release from the school. "He'll be a big part of what we're trying to do here, and that's win a conference championship."Follow Devin Pangaro on Twitter @devinpangaro, for your daily dose of MLB News and Rumors