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A's shore up staff with addition of two coaches

A's shore up staff with addition of two coaches

OAKLAND -- The A's announced a handful of staff changes, including the hiring of hitting coach Gerald Perry and bench coach Joel Skinner, on Wednesday afternoon.

Perry replaces Jim Skaalen, whose contract was not renewed after two years of service. Skinner, meanwhile, becomes manager Bob Geren's right-hand man on the bench in place of Tye Waller, who has been reassigned to the role of first-base coach after two years as bench coach.

Todd Steverson, who served as the A's first-base coach for each of the past two seasons, has been offered a position in the organization's Minor League system. The other familiar faces of 2010 -- pitching coach Curt Young, third-base coach Mike Gallego and bullpen coach Ron Romanick -- are all slated to return in their same capacities.

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Perry has 10 years of experience as a hitting coach -- five of which resulted in playoff appearances -- under his belt, including 2006 in Oakland when the A's made it to the American League Championship Series. He most recently served the role of hitting coach for Boston's Triple-A affiliate this season and has also worked with the Mariners, Pirates and Cubs.

Perry played parts of 13 Major League seasons from 1983 to 1995 with the Braves, Royals and Cardinals, and was named to the National League All-Star team in 1988 when he batted .300 with 29 doubles, eight home runs, 74 RBIs and 29 stolen bases for Atlanta.

Skinner, son of former Major League outfielder Bob Skinner, managed Cleveland's Double-A affiliate to a 71-71 record this past season. He served as bench coach for Cleveland during the 2006 season, but most of his time with the Indians' Major League staff was spent coaching at third base, where he was stationed for parts of eight seasons. Skinner was also named interim manager of the Indians midway through the 2002 season in Charlie Manuel's place, compiling a 25-41 record.

Skinner played 15 seasons in professional baseball prior to his coaching days, including nine years at the big league level with the White Sox, Yankees and Indians.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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