Results tagged ‘ Rudy Jaramillo ’

10/23 Coaching changes

The Cubs named David Bell as the third base coach and removed the interim tag from hitting coach James Rowson. This completes Dale Sveum’s coaching staff for 2013. Bell replaces Pat Listach, whose contract was not renewed. Bell, 40, joins the Cubs after managing and coaching third base in the Reds’ Minor League system the last four seasons, most recently guiding the Triple-A Louisville club in 2012.  Prior to Louisville, Bell was the manager for Double-A Carolina from 2009-11. The ’09 season was his first as a manager or coach at the professional level after a 12-year Major League career, which ended in 2006.

A former infielder, Bell batted .257 in 1,403 Major League games for six different teams – the Indians (1995, 1998), Cardinals (1995-98), Mariners (1998-2001), Giants (2002), Phillies (2003-06) and Brewers (2006). He’s a member of one of Major League Baseball’s three-generation families, as he is the son of Buddy Bell and the grandson of Gus Bell.  When David hit for the cycle on June 28, 2004, with the Phillies, he joined Gus as the first grandfather-grandson tandem in Major League history to hit for the cycle.  Bell is a native of Cincinnati, OH.

Rowson was named the Cubs’ interim hitting coach June 13, replacing Rudy Jaramillo, who was dismissed.

— Carrie Muskat

6/12 Soriano: “It’s sad to see Rudy go”

Most of the Cubs didn’t find out Rudy Jaramillo had been dismissed as the hitting coach until they arrived at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

“You never like to see somebody go but we have to move forward, we have to focus on trying to win ballgames,” Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney said. “We’re going to miss Rudy.”

Jaramillo was in the final year of his contract and let go because of the Cubs’ offensive woes. They were hitting .247 overall, and ranked 11th in the National League with runners in scoring position.

“I feel, every hitter here feels it’s our responsibility that he lost his job because we didn’t do the job,” Alfonso Soriano said. “That’s hard when you see guys like Rudy, who like to work. He liked to work and we felt comfortable with him. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and made the game so difficult. It’s very sad to see him go.”

Theo Epstein complimented Jaramillo on his ability to work with a hitter on his mechanics. Epstein said they wanted more attention paid to the approach at the plate.

“Rudy was very individualistic,” Barney said. “He worked with guys on different things. With me, it was more the mechanical side of things early and I felt I had a pretty good approach to hitting and did my homework. With other guys, he talked more approach. You’re not going to really talk to someone like Jeff Baker about his mechanics. He’s been doing this for a long time, and he knows how to hit a baseball. You probably talk to him more about the approach. He worked with guys on different things and what they thought they needed.”

— Carrie Muskat

6/12 Jaramillo dismissed

Rudy Jaramillo, a legendary hitting coach in Texas who couldn’t get the Cubs to adapt his plan, was dismissed on Tuesday. Jaramillo, 61, was in his third season with the Cubs. He will be replaced by James Rowson, the Cubs’ Minor League hitting coordinator, on an interim basis. The Cubs currently rank 10th in the National League in batting with a team .247 average but have struggled to deliver in clutch situations. They rank 14th in runs scored, and were hitting .232 with runners in scoring position. Jaramillo has helped young Starlin Castro, who was batting .308, and also Alfonso Soriano, who leads the Majors with 12 home runs since May 15. But the rest of the team has scuffled, especially against left-handed pitchers, batting a collective .223. Rowson, 35, joined the Cubs during the offseason after six seasons in the Yankees organization, including the last four years as their Minor League hitting coordinator.

The Cubs batted .255 in 2 1/2 seasons with Jaramillo. This year, they hit .259 in May but were batting .238 in June.

— Carrie Muskat

5/11 Rudy wants more swagger

Rudy Jaramillo wants to see a little swagger. The Cubs hitting coach challenged the players on Friday. They are 10-7 in their last 17 games dating to April 21, and batting .254 in that stretch with 13 of their season total 18 home runs in that stretch. Bryan LaHair has carried the team, batting .384 with a team-high eight home runs.

“Players are so superstitious,” Jaramillo said. “It’s kind of like a ritual — you remember how you put your uniform on the day before and then maybe you change your socks or you try to do something different. What happens, too, is they try to do something different with their swing and try to change it, but really you have to go back to your mentality and change that.”

What he wants to see is some swagger and players being aggressive and attacking.

“We get in between mentally at the plate when you’re struggling because you’re worried about mechanics, you’re worried about what pitch, so there’s no concentration, no plan or approach,” he said. “The way you get out of it is to go up there and be aggressive so you don’t get that in between thinking, and attack. [Tell yourself] ‘I’m going to attack and get a good pitch and hit it hard.’ That’s how you get out of it, basically.”

Which is what he told the players.

“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to hear about mechanics, I don’t want to hear about anything,'” Jaramillo said. “‘I want you to attack the ball and be aggressive and then you don’t think about being in between.’ and we had a great session.”

— Carrie Muskat

12/16 Cubs announce coaching staff

Bench coach Jamie Quirk, pitching coach Chris Bosio and former Cardinals first base coach Dave McKay will join Cubs manager Dale Sveum’s coaching staff, the team announced Friday. Quirk, Bosio and McKay will join hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, third base coach Pat Listach and bullpen coach Lester Strode, who are holdovers from Mike Quade’s staff. Quade was dismissed after a 71-91 season, and Sveum was named the Cubs’ 52nd manager on Nov. 18.

Mike Borzello and Franklin Font also will serve as Major League staff assistants. Borzello will work with the catchers and be involved in advanced scouting while Font, who was the Cubs’ Minor League infield coordinator, will assist Jaramillo.

Bosio, 48, begins his third stint as a big league pitching coach, previously coaching in the Majors for the Rays in 2003 and the Brewers in 2009. He became the Brewers advance scout following the 2009 season and remained in that role until being named pitching coach for Triple-A Nashville in 201.

Quirk, 57, joins the Cubs with 18 years of Major League coaching experience with three organizations, including 12 seasons as a big league bench coach with the Royals (1996-2001) and Rockies (2003-08). The former big league catcher played for eight teams during his 18-year Major League career (1975-92) and was a member of the 1985 World Champion Royals.  Overall, Quirk batted .240 with 43 home runs and 247 RBI in 984 big league games.

McKay, 61, joins the Cubs after spending the last 16 seasons as the Cardinals’ first base coach. The 2012 season will be McKay’s 27th season as a big league coach. He has been a member of three World Champion staffs: 1989 in Oakland as well as 2006 and 2011 in St. Louis.  

Jaramillo, 61, enters his third season with the Cubs, and 18th straight at the Major League level as a hitting coach. Listach, 44, was Quade’s bench coach last season, while Strode, 53, enters his 24th season in the Cubs organization and sixth at the Major League level on the coaching staff.

Borzello, 41, joins the Cubs with 16 years of experience with Major League clubs. He spent the last four seasons with the Dodgers as their bullpen catcher, a stint that followed 12 years in the Yankees organization starting in 1996.

Font, 34, returns for his 18th season in the Cubs organization, his first at the Major League level. He spent the last three years as the Cubs Minor League infield coordinator. 

— Carrie Muskat 

12/3 Cubs coaching staff

The Cubs will formally announce manager Dale Sveum’s coaching staff next week. So far, Chris Bosio and Jamie Quirk have gotten a head start on the announcements. Quirk will be Sveum’s bench coach while Bosio told his hometown newspaper in Appleton, Wis., on Friday that he will take over as the Cubs pitching coach, replacing Mark Riggins. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo will return and bullpen coach Lester Strode also was expected back. Pat Listach, who was the Cubs bench coach, was expected back but in a different role. Sveum is reportedly waiting for Craig Counsell to decide if he is retiring as a player. If so, Counsell could join the Cubs staff, and would be the fifth former Brewer on staff. Jaramillo and Strode are the only ones to not play for Milwaukee.

— Carrie Muskat

11/23 Sveum talks to Bosio re: joining Cubs

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Cubs asked permission last week to talk to Chris Bosio about joining the team as the pitching coach. New Cubs manager Dale Sveum and Bosio were teammates on the Brewers from 1986-91, and both coaches on the 2009 staff. Bosio was an advance scout for the Brewers last year and named the Triple-A pitching coach in September. Sveum is interviewing people for his staff, and has told hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo he’d return. The 2012 season will be the last of Jaramillo’s three-year deal.

— Carrie Muskat

3/11 Pena feeling good at plate

Carlos Pena doesn’t gauge his progress this spring by the numbers. He’s going by feel, and on Friday, he felt really good. He hit his first spring homer and first extra-base hit for the Cubs in a 4-3 win over the White Sox. Pena has averaged 36 homers over the last four seasons but last year, hit .196. He came into Friday’s game with two hits in 17 at-bats in Cactus League play. How was he dealing with the slow start?

“It all depends on the way I evaluate myself,” Pena said. “If I evaluate how many hits I get, then I could say I got off to a bad start. The way I’ve been evaluating myself is more on how I feel and if I’m tracking pitches well and making hard contact. I’ve done so over the past few weeks, not with the results I wanted, obviously, but I think as hitters, we have to be careful on how we evaluate ourselves.”

What’s important, Pena said, is to focus on the right things. He’s been working in the batting cage each day with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on his approach.

“If you focus on the outcome sometimes,” Pena said, “you put together a pretty good at-bat, one pitch, you don’t hit it well, and then you are over-criticizing yourself and beating yourself up and it can be really detrimental for the next two weeks instead of building off good evaluation.

“I try to be careful with how I evaluate myself,” he said. “I wouldn’t consider it totally a bad start, but it’s been progressing the way I expected and hopefully I can carry this on through the end of Spring Training and into the season.”

— Carrie Muskat

2/12 Cubs notebook: Marmol takes physical

Carlos Marmol underwent his physical Saturday at Fitch Park and the Cubs were expected to announce a long-term deal with their closer this week. Marmol, 28, who is the team’s only arbitration eligible player still unsigned, wouldn’t comment on Saturday. Asked if a deal was done, he said: “Not yet.”

The two sides have exchanged arbitration figures, with the Cubs submitting an offer of $4.1 million, while Marmol is seeking $5.65 million. However, all signs indicate the two sides could settle on a multi-year contract. If Marmol and the Cubs agreed to a three-year deal, he would be giving up his first year of free agency. He has one more arbitration year, then becomes a free agent in 2013.

Marmol converted 38 of 43 save opportunities last season, and averaged a Major League record 15.99 strikeouts per nine innings.

Cubs pitchers and catchers report on Sunday to Fitch Park, although many have already been working out in camp, including Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and John Grabow. The first workout will be Monday.

* Angel Guzman, coming back from surgery on his right shoulder, threw off a mound Friday for the second time since having the procedure. He is not throwing at full speed but is making progress.

* The Cubs players have kept busy during the little down time they’ve had in early workouts by playing Ping Pong. Tyler Colvin is the offseason leader in head-to-head play so far.

* Among the players working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on Saturday were Colvin, Marlon Byrd, Darwin Barney, Jim Adduci, Steve Clevenger, Chris Robinson, and Micah Gibbs.

* The Fitch Park facility has been improved with the addition of four covered batting cages, so that six are now available instead of two. Plus, the screens can be moved and up to eight pitchers can throw in just in case there is inclement weather.

— Carrie Muskat

1/15 Pena to work with Rudy

Carlos Pena will get to work on his swing next week with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Pena, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract in December with the Cubs, will go to Dallas to work with Jaramillo immediately after the Cubs Convention ends Sunday. The free agent is coming off a disappointing season in which he batted .196.

“It’s just getting back to basics,” Pena said of what he wants to accomplish in his sessions with Jaramillo.

The two were together briefly in Texas. Pena was the Rangers’ first round pick in 1998 and played briefly in 2001 with the big league team. The 2010 season was Jaramillo’s first in Chicago after 15 seasons with the Rangers.

“We’ll get acquainted again,” Pena said. “I’m anxious to get it going.”

Pena called Jaramillo the day he signed with the Cubs. The hitting coach has looked at video of the first baseman this winter. Despite the low batting average, Pena did hit 28 homers and drove in 84 runs for the Rays in 2010. He said last season was his toughest to deal with personally but sees nothing but positives.

“I’m happy I went through the struggles I went through last year because it makes me stronger,” he said. “Today, the Cubs are getting a better player because of it.”

— Carrie Muskat