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