11/26 Deer added to Sveum’s staff
Dale Sveum and Rob Deer, teammates on the Brewers from 1986-90, are together again. The Cubs have hired Deer as an assistant hitting coach, and he’ll join Sveum’s coaching staff, working with hitting coach James Rowson. Deer, 52, batted .220 in 11 big league seasons with the Giants, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox from 1984-93, and then played part of ’96 with the Padres. He hit 230 home runs, including 33 in ’86 with Milwaukee, and also led the league in strikeouts four times (1987, ’88, ’91 and ’93). Sveum, who is entering his second season as the Cubs manager, came up in the Brewers organization and played for the big league team from 1986-91.
How can Deer be a hitting instructor when he has such a low batting average and struck out so many times?
“I answer that a lot,” Deer told Milwaukee sportswriter Drew Olson in a 2006 interview. “I don’t teach the way I hit. I understand how to hit .300. I know what it takes. We tell the guys to be selectively aggressive. We want that to be their approach. We tell them, ‘Be patiently aggressive.’ That’s our motto. What does it mean? If you get a good pitch to hit and you take it, that’s your fault. We don’t ever want to take aggressiveness away. But, we don’t want to swing at bad pitches either. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t want them to hit like I did.”
– Carrie Muskat