Does The Cubs' Pursuit Of Rudy Jaramillo Signal The Return Of Bradley?
In response to my own question, God I hope not.
Rudy Jaramillo had been the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers for the last 15 years, before he announced recently that he would seek opportunities elsewhere.
What does this mean for the Cubs?
Over the last 5 years, the Rangers have hit .270 as a team. That's a pretty good number. Their high over that time period was .283 in 2008, which was the best in the Majors. They also led the league in slugging percentage and OPS (on-base plus slugging), and were among the league leaders in OBP as well. That's a pretty good resume that Jaramillo would bring to Chicago if he chose to come here.
The Cubs' problem in 2009 was the general lack of offense. Several guys had really bad seasons, very atypical of how they should perform.
Some may say that Jaramillo would bring a free-swinging, aggressive hitting philosophy, and that it would not benefit the Cubs. I would actually be OK with them being more aggressive. Maybe it was just me, but the Cubs as a whole took a lot of strikes this season. I think they were being too patient.
Most pitchers are more apt to throw fastballs early in the count, and most hitters would rather try to square up a fastball versus a breaking ball or changeup. I think that you can be aggressive without being free-swinging. I think those two terms are very different. Free swingers are guys like Vladimir Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano. Sure those guys will hit their fair share of homers, but they'll also strike out more than they should.
If the pitcher is going to throw ball 1 and ball 2, let him. You're probably going to get a fastball that you can square up.
The other part of this Jaramillo rumor is the theory that a Jaramillo signing signals the return of Milton Bradley. Bradley had a spectacular 2008 with the Rangers, coincidentally with Jaramillo overseeing his AB's.
Uhh...are you nuts?
There is no way that Milton Bradley is returning to this team. Too much happened during 2009, especially at the end of the year. Several Cubs' players commented on Bradley's tenure with the team. I can't imagine they ever want to see him again unless he's in the opposing dugout.
I don't care if Milton thrived under Jaramillo, he can't come back. He's not welcome. It's like walking back into school after pulling the fire alarm in a snow storm, and everyone knows you did it. Awkward.
I'm totally in favor of hiring Jaramillo, but only if Milton doesn't come back.
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