Results tagged ‘ Bill Mueller ’
With Bill Mueller’s resignation, the Cubs are once again searching for a new hitting coach. Whoever is hired will be the team’s fourth hitting coach in the last six years following Rudy Jaramillo (2010-12); James Rowson (2012-13), and Mueller (2013). Here are some names to keep an eye on:
* John Mallee: He interviewed with the Cubs for the hitting coach job last season, but instead was hired by the Astros. His status is unclear after the Astros named A.J. Hinch as their new manager. Mallee (pronounced MAY-lee) is a Chicago native. He also is friends with Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde as Mallee was the Marlins hitting coach after spending nine seasons in that organization as the Minor League hitting coordinator.
* Dave Magadan: This was Magadan’s second season with the Rangers as their hitting coach. He also held that job with the Red sox from 2007-12, and the Padres from 2003-June 2006. At the time he was fired from the Padres job, San Diego ranked next to last in on-base percentage and slugging percentage in the NL behind the Cubs. He was the Red Sox hitting coach when Boston won the 2007 World Series and Theo Epstein was GM. Magadan’s job also is in jeopardy with Texas searching for a new manager. He has a brief Cubs connection, having played for the team in 1996, and batting .254 in an injury filled season. He also is Lou Piniella’s cousin.
* Chili Davis: A three-time All-Star who played 19 seasons in the big leagues, Davis was the Red Sox’s Triple-A Hitting coach in 2011, which was Theo Epstein’s last year as Boston’s GM. He has been the A’s hitting coach since 2012.
* Kevin Long: The 2014 season was Long’s eighth with the Yankees, and a tough one. The Yankees have led MLB in runs scored in three of his seven seasons, and finished second twice. The 2012 team set a franchise record with 245 home runs, most in the Majors. This season, the Yankees were 14th in on-base percentage, 11th in batting average, and 10th in slugging percentage in the AL. All of the Yankees coaches are being “evaluated,” manager Joe Girardi said.
* Scott Coolbaugh: He was the Rangers hitting coach from June 2011 through the 2012 season, and was a Minor League hitting coach in 2002, and again from 2007-13, taking charge of Triple-A Round Rock from 2009-11. He’s been the Rangers’ Minor League hitting coordinator for the last two seasons.
– Carrie Muskat
Bill Mueller, a former batting champion who helped Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro get back on track last season in his first year as the Cubs hitting coach, will not return for the 2015 season. A Cubs official confirmed a Chicago Tribune report Tuesday that Mueller has resigned. The departure was related to the team’s decision to not retain assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley, who also was in his first season on the Cubs coaching staff.
Mueller, 43, joined new manager Rick Renteria’s staff after spending 11 years in the Major Leagues from 1996-2006, winning the batting title in 2003 when he hit .326 for the Red Sox. He also was the Dodgers interim hitting coach in the second half of 2007.
– Carrie Muskat
Bill Mueller hasn’t worn a Major League uniform since 2007 and he’s eager to get back on the field. Mueller was named to new Cubs manager Rick Renteria’s coaching staff on Friday. A former American League batting champion, the 42-year-old Mueller was an interim hitting coach for the Dodgers in the second half of 2007. After an 11-year playing career that included two seasons with the Cubs, Mueller joined the Dodgers’ front office. He has spent the last six seasons as a special assistant.
“It’s something that has always been inside me to be near the field again and be a part of a team and be with a Major League club,” Mueller said Friday. “You never know when that opportunity might come or if it does. I’ve always tried to be as well-rounded as possible and stay in the game and continue to be a student of the game so if an opportunity pops up, I could handle it and be ready to take it on. This was an opportunity that was hard to pass up and I’m very excited about it.”
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer asked the Dodgers for permission to talk to Mueller, who picked Mike Brumley, 51, as his assistant. Brumley has spent the last four seasons as first-base coach with the Mariners. He began his big league career with the Cubs in 1987.
Mueller compiled a career .291 average in his 11 seasons as a player, and batted .326 in ’03 with the Red Sox when he won the batting title. It wasn’t easy, which is something he’ll stress to the Cubs hitters.
“I had to work to get everything I achieved,” Mueller said. “Going through the process of understanding my swing and breaking it down and understanding the strengths and weaknesses and all that good stuff was a process that I had to go through. I feel it helps with the relationship and the communication with these guys. … I wasn’t the best bat on the team, it was something I had to work very hard at.”
The next step will be to study video of the Cubs batters, some of whom he has seen as a scout. He’ll then contact the players. Told that Theo Epstein wants the Cubs to lead the league in on-base percentage, Mueller laughed. That’ll be a tough assignment, but he’s up to it.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs named manager Rick Renteria’s coaching staff on Friday. Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching and strategy coach) and Franklin Font (staff assistant) return. Joining Renteria’s staff in 2014 are Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Gary Jones (third base/infield coach), Bill Mueller (hitting coach), Mike Brumley (assistant hitting coach) and Jose Castro (quality assurance coach). Castro will handle scouting and defensive assignments, among other things. The club has yet to name a first base coach.
Jaron Madison, who joined the Cubs as director of amateur scouting, has been named director of player development, replacing Hyde in that role. Matt Dorey, who this year worked for the Cubs as a national and regional crosschecker, has been named director of amateur scouting.
– Carrie Muskat
The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune both quote sources as saying former third baseman Bill Mueller is a candidate to be the Cubs’ new hitting coach. GM Jed Hoyer has said the team hopes to name manager Rick Renteria’s staff soon. Mueller played 11 seasons in the big leagues, including 173 games with the Cubs from 2001-02. He signed with the Red Sox in 2003 when Theo Epstein was the GM, and won the AL batting title that year. Mueller has worked for the Dodgers as a special assistant to the GM and as a scout.
Also, the Sun-Times reported Minor League instructors Gary Jones of the Padres and Bruce Fields of the Tigers are candidates to become base coaches.