7/2 Rudy: "You have to trust yourself"
Some of the Cubs hitters have scuffled but it’s not because hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is totally revamping their swings.
“I’m trying to get them to do what they’ve done in the past when they’ve had success and that’s it,” Jaramillo said Friday.
The Cubs pitchers have the best ERA in the National League since May 15 at 3.32, yet the team is 19-24 and has dropped from six games back at that date to 10 1/2 back in the National League Central. They haven’t been able to hit, especially with runners on base.
Lou Piniella suggested some players may be working too hard. Jaramillo stresses quality, not quantity.
“You have to trust yourself and what you work on,” Jaramillo said. “It doesn’t matter how much you work on it. Some guys work more than others and then you have to take it into the game and you can’t be worried about failure or whatever. You just have to be a mentally tough person to deal with this game. I believe right now we have to do that.”
What’s hurt the most is having the middle of the order scuffle. The No. 3-4 hitters, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, were batting .231 and .180, respectively. Marlon Byrd, now in his fourth year with Jaramillo, ranks among the National League leaders at .306.
“I take full responsibility — I’m the hitting coach, I’m accountable,” Jaramillo said. “But I don’t doubt myself in any way in what I’m doing and the direction I’m going.
“It’s a two-way street and those kids have to respond,” he said. “They’re men and it’s not like we have a bunch of young kids here. They’ve been around. They just have to get it done.”
Jaramillo isn’t giving up either.
“I’m not going to change,” Jaramillo said. “I’ve had too much success with what I’ve done in the past. I try to make adjustments with them and be positive with them and encourage them and get them ready for the game. That’s all you can do.”
— Carrie Muskat