10/15 Cubs hitting coach update

Mark DeRosa loved him. DeRosa gave Rudy Jaramillo credit for making him a better hitter in 2006 when he batted .296 with the Rangers, hitting a then career-high 13 homers and driving in 74 runs. Jaramillo helped Milton Bradley in his one season in Texas when Bradley led the American League in on-base percentage, and batted .321 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs. Those are numbers the Cubs never saw.

On Wednesday, the Rangers announced they are bringing back all of their coaches except Jaramillo. Texas general manager Jon Daniels said: “Rudy Jaramillo has been a consummate professional and great asset to the Rangers, and we wish him luck in his future endeavors.”

The Cubs are looking for a hitting coach after deciding at the end of the season to retain all of Lou Piniella’s coaching staff except Von Joshua. Joshua had taken over in June for Gerald Perry, who was relieved of his duties. The Cubs have invited Joshua to return to their Minor League system.

Jaramillo is still under contract to the Rangers through Oct. 31, and then becomes a free agent. Cubs officials declined to comment on Jaramillo because it would be tampering, just like with a player under contract. But a team source did say they will likely to talk to Jaramillo, who was the Rangers hitting coach from 1994-2009. The only name GM Jim Hendry has mentioned for the job is Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator Dave Keller, and Keller had yet to be interviewed.

The Cubs have worked with Jaramillo already. This season, Piniella contacted him for help in getting Bradley on track. Bradley was not expected to return to the team after he was suspended for the final 15 games because of detrimental conduct. Just because the Cubs may be interested in Jaramillo doesn’t mean Bradley will return.

Besides DeRosa, Jaramillo helped develop Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Michael Young. Entering the 2009 season, Rangers hitters had won 17 Silver Slugger awards, four MVPs, three home run titles, and three RBI crowns under Jaramillo. He wanted a multi-year contract and the team only offered a one-year deal. Jaramillo said he was not “bitter” at what happened but decided to make a move.

“This is my decision,” Jaramillo told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “I want to go out there and see where I stand in the game.”

— Carrie Muskat


Great, but I don’t know if this would be a cure-all for the Cubs. Just because someone had success in the past, doesn’t mean they would have success in the future, especially with the Cubs (i.e. Bradley). He will have a steep asking price for a coach, but with the players that he’s coached on our team, it might be a positive thing…who knows.

Who could argue with the Cubs getting Jaramillo? However, if Hendry thinks that will be the answer to his woes he is dead wrong AGAIN. It would certainly fall into Hendry’s style of mis-general managing….going after the big “name” free agent ala Soriano, Fukodome, Bradley etc. why would he be any differernt when it comes to a hitting coach? Really, how are we to know if Keller wouldn’t do as good (or bad) a job as Jaramillo? Or Joshua, or Perry??? Remember, Jaramillo’s success came with mostly the young prospects from the Rangers system, not overpaid veterans like Soriano, Fukodome, Miles etc. He even helped Bradley while Bradley was not an OVERPAID veteran. So if Jaramillo doesn’t have the young prospects to help would he be of any value? Maybe, maybe not. Again, the status of who the hitting coach will be is far from the glaring problems facing this team. Going outside the organization YET AGAIN by Hendry speaks volumes. Baker, Pinella, Trammel, Perry, etc. all brought in from other organizations because of the success they HAD, how about promoting some people that have been successful HERE??? I know the Cubs are not the only team to bring in other people, hell even the Yankees brught in an EX-CUB in Giardi…hmmm…good enough for the Yankees but not the Cubs, might even be in the World Series….Hendry is starting to make McFail look good!!

The Cubs would be dumb not to try and bring this guy in. Like most everything I expect Hendry to blow this somehow.

Blow it how? By creating a bidding war with HIMSELF?
If Hendry does his usual song and dance routine we’ll land Jaramillo for only a few million dollars more than any other team would pay him. I’m not knocking Jaramillo but he pretty much is only a proven commodity in a small ball park where offensive numbers MAY be inflated?? I Just think there are more important irons in the fire than getting the “ulitmate” hitting instructor just because he “happens” to be available….But you are right, like most everything Hendry may very well blow this one too.

Jaramillo would be a good choice – so would Jim Lefebvre. Maybe if the Cubs can get a good hitting coach some of guys will figure out what they are supposed to use the bat for when they’re in the batters box. Many of them used their bats to fan the catcher on those hot summer days at Wrigley.

As if a new hitting instructor no matter how talented or “magical” he may be will cure what ails the Cubs. What hitting instructor will also improve the sub-par defense in left and right? The average defense up the middle? Now the big story will be all about the “newesttting instructor” instead of the newest manager or the newest free agent.
What the story should be about is the NEWEST GM. Typical of Hendry to invent a distraction.

So does the signing of Jaramillo mean that the Cubs will keep Milton Bradley, with the thoughts that he will revert to his 2008 form in Texas?
I’m happy about Jaramillo’s signing, but not thrilled with the prospect that Bradley could possibly remain with Cubs. I understand keeping Bradley could be more of a business decision than a baseball decison, with the Cubs having to eat approximately $21 millon, whether they keep or trade him.

It should be Hendry eating the 21 mil along with a plate of crow. As far as keeping Bradley and Jaramillo getting him to revert to his 2008 form…that would be Bradley TWO YEARS YOUNGER, just like the crazy idea that some think he’ll also get Soriano to revert back to the type of numbers he had when he was with Texas, what was that? FOUR YEARS AGO??? Hendry screwed the pooch with the 8 year deal he gave Soriano hoping that an appearance in the World Series would gain him a free pass. Well that idea blew up in his face and we’re “stuck” (yes, STUCK) with Soriano, his free swinging approach at the plate, his hop in the outfield, his loping after balls AND HIS ADVANCING AGE just like we have been stuck with Fukodome and his underacheiving ways, his corkscrew batting style and now we are stuck with Miles and Bradley(?). Good God, it’s all because we are STUCK with Hendry.

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