Yesterday we reported that the Chicago Cubs were rumored to be interested in Texas Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo to take over the void left by Von Joshua and Gerald Perry this year. One day later, every single news outlet is obsessing about the possibility of Jaramillo, following word that he’d rejected a contract extension from the Rangers.
And although several sources suggest the Cubs will pursue Jaramillo heavily, the question is: should they? As Bruce Miles notes:
Here are some of the key stats for the Rangers this year:
Runs: 7th in the American league at 784
OBP: .320 (12th)
Walks: 472 (12th)
Strikeouts by batters: 1,253, most in the AL
Slugging: .445 (3rd)
OPS: .764 (7th)
Home runs: 224 (second to the Yankees)
Team president Nolan Ryan was quoted by local reporters as expressing dismay in the walks and strikeouts: “We were all disappointed in the number of strikeouts and the lack of walks,” Ryan said. DailyHerald.com.
Now, obviously a coach must deal with the personnel he has. But none of those numbers – many of which represent a regression from previous years – instill confidence. When the Cubs finally internalized the notion that getting on base was the key to a good offense, the team was one of the best in all of baseball (2008). When getting on base fell by the wayside in favor of “swinging hard,” as Lou Piniella encouraged Ryan Theriot to do, the Cubs fell way back.
Is Jaramillo the guy who will turn that philosophy back around?