Cubs sign Rudy Jaramillo as their hitting coach for 2010.
His time in Texas was littered with experience guiding Soriano and Bradley through productive years at the plate. You have to wonder if his time with them, plus the fact that Bradley trusts him so much, is a sign that regardless of whether a team out there is interested in Bradley, that perhaps Hendry is thinking of giving this Bradley experiment one more shot.
Jaramillo is known as being a guru. Hendry says he’s the best hitting instructor in the game. Really Jim? You think so? It’s a good thing he’s received such high praise from his peers as well, because really, what else is the guy that hired him supposed to say? “Who, Jaramillo? Yeah, he’s alright I guess”. Not happening. Of course Hendry is going to say he’s the best.
Jaramillo is known for being a great communicator in getting players to work hard and after seeing results, earn his trust. The Cubs website has a story where Jaramillo speaks of a time where Sosa was in the batting cage with four other hitters. Over 100 balls were hit and after the session, the four hitters picked up the balls and Sosa didn’t touch one. Next round, same result. Only this time when the hitters went to pick up the balls, Jaramillo told them to stop and let Sammy do it all. Sammy, the diva, did just that. Considering Sosa has selective bi-lingual ability communication resulting in Sammy Sosa doing a ball boy’s job that most major league hitters do without a second thought is definitely a great example of Jaramillo being a great communicator. But he’s still a batting coach, not a shrink. So, not sure how he helps in Bradley’s case. If he’s even still around in 2010 that is.
Love the work ethic already though. Jaramillo is planning on viewing tape of Cubs’ hitters from ’09 and then meeting with some of the younger talent in Arizona in November. Taking this team from potential to reality is going to take someone willing to go the extra distance. I love Piniella and think he’s a great baseball mind. However, people think he’s sleeping a bit lately and not quite the fire plug he’s been in the past in motivating and getting results. Maybe that’s where Jaramillo comes in to reinforce that fire and add a level of urgency and desire on the coaches’ level that’s been missing. Jaramillo could help from his place on up in the organizational in that way potentially, as well as from 1 down to 8 in the Cubs’ order. Wouldn’t that be nice.
And not for nothing, but in 2006, Cub fan fave Mark DeRosa hit nearly .300 with Jaramillo on the Rangers as well. As far as working with former players goes…well, I’m just saying. That would be a great reason to welcome Jaramillo as well.
Off-season has begun already for the Cubs regardless of the fact that game one of this year’s World Series hasn’t even kicked off yet. And their first move comes on the coaching level. Interesting first tweak in getting this team to the next level in 2010.
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! (Great movie) Go Cubs Go!