A former Midwest League player and manager was added to Oakland Athletics skipper Bob Melvin’s coaching staff Thursday.
Melvin’s new bench coach is Ryan Christenson, a former major-league outfielder who played for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 1996 and managed the Beloit Snappers in 2013. Both of those Midwest League teams were A’s affiliates when Christenson suited up for them.
Christenson batted .311 with 2 HR and 18 RBI in 33 games with the Whitecaps. His Snappers team finished the regular season with a 77-62 record and beat the Clinton LumberKings in the first round of the playoffs before being eliminated by the Quad Cities River Bandits in the second round. (The River Bandits won the Midwest League Championship Series that season, with current Houston Astros star Carlos Correa among the future major-leaguers on their roster.)
Christenson replaces Chip Hale as bench coach. Hale started this year as Oakland’s third-base coach, but became the team’s bench coach in June after Mark Kotsay left the team. Hale previously served as Melvin’s bench coach during the 2012-14 seasons before managing the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 and 2016.
Hale played in the Midwest League in 1987, when he batted .345 with 7 HR and 65 RBI in 87 games with the Kenosha Twins.