Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The New and Future Hitting Coach

Isn't this guy still busy with the Yankees?All signs indicate that the Cubs will hire Rudy Jaramillo to be their new hitting coach:

One report has it as three years and $2.42 million but the Cubs could not confirm that figure.
The 59-year-old Jaramillo comes to the Cubs from the Texas Rangers, where he spent 15 years and earned a reputation as one of the top hitting coaches in the game. He became available after the Rangers offered him only a one-year contract extension, which he declined.

A few points about this hire.

First, being the hitting coach for a team where Jose Canseco said he introduced Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez to steroids suggests that other things were at play in the good hitting other than Jaramillo's five point approach.

Second, as Dave Pinto notes, Texas hitters had wild swings in their home and road scoring:

Since 1995, the Rangers scored 5.70 runs per game at home, the best home mark in the American League and second only to the Colorado Rockies. On the road, that drops to 4.90 runs per game, 10th in the majors and ninth in the American League. In other words, there’s a big ballpark component to his success as measured by the success of the Rangers offense.

Believing that Jamarillo will actually make a difference is a belief that takes a lot of faith.

Third, some quarters seem to to think that a three year, $2.42 million dollar deal is a sign that the salary spigots will be open under the Ricketts regime.

Spending $30,000 LESS over THREE years compared to what the Cubs are spending in ONE year for Aaron Miles is proof the payroll will go up? Coaching payroll is a rounding error to a major market team. This signing is no different. The Cubs payroll next year for their 25 man roster will be close to $135,000,000. Jamarillo's $800,000 salary equates to 0.059% of that payroll. Look at it this way: If the Cubs 25 man payroll was $50,000, the Jamarillo's salary would be $296.29. This signing says nothing about future payroll commitments.

Lastly, the length of the signing is interesting. With Lou Piniella retiring/quitting after the 2010 season, the next Cub manager will not have the ability to hire their own hitting coach. That's an interesting restriction on the next manager.

And, given what we know about the last 15 seasons with Jim Hendry in the organization, Rudy could be here for the next GM as well.

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