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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The Washington Nationals have fired their hitting coach after a sub-par first half of the season at the plate.

Rick Eckstein was let go by the Nationals and replaced by the team's minor league hitting coordinator,Rick Schu.

"In Washington, Schu has pre-existing relationships with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Steve Lombardozzi and Roger Bernadina. He will also draw on relationships with Chad Tracy and Scott Hairston gained during their days together with the Diamondbacks. Schu has also worked closely with numerous other Nationals hitters during the last four spring trainings," the Nationals said in a news release.

Eckstein was named Nationals hitting coach on October 24, 2008, the team said. He was the longest tenured hitting coach in the National League East, according to the Nationals.

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