Monday, October 19, 2009

Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy!

The Cubs reportedly have been talking to Texas Rangers hitting coach and widely-respected guru Rudy Jaramillo, and now Sports Illustrated says the Cubs and Jaramillo may be closing in on a deal.

That would be the best news the Cubs have gotten since Milton Bradley was benched. Incidentally, it could also mean Bradley's days with the Cubs may not be over if they believe Rudy can get good things out of one of his former pupils (Bradley played for the Rangers before the Cubs). Jaramillo also potential could be a savior for Alfonso Soriano, who also used to take Jaramillo's hitting advice when he played for Texas.

After Bradley's terrible year and Soriano's career-worst year, I still wouldn't mind if both of them were somehow shipped out of town, but Bradley will be a hard sell, and the Cubs probably will not try to move Soriano at all.

Can a bonafide hitting guru helps the Cubs reach their offensive potential? It seemed like that's what Gerald Perry did in 2008, and then he took the blame for poor performance in 2009. It seems like hitting coaches are always in the hot seat. Greg Walker has survived as the White Sox hitting coach for years, despite calls for his head on a seasonal basis. Jaramillo may be in a different class than many others though: Before declining the Rangers' latest contract offer, he had been coaching hugely productive line-ups in Texas going back to the mid-1990s.

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