The Cubs’ coaching staff could take shape over the next few days, and the man at the dish could former Cubs third baseman Bill Mueller.
According to reports in the Sun-Times and the Tribune, the Cubs may soon tab Mueller to be the team’s fourth hitting coach in three years. Mueller was an accomplished hitter in his playing days, embodying the kind of plate approach the Cubs would like to see from their players (who wouldn’t want a batter that sported a walk rate (11.1%) nearly matching his strikeout rate (11.7%)?).
After his playing days were done (playing days that notably featured three seasons with the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2005), Mueller worked in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office as a special assistant to Ned Colleti (with a brief stop as the team’s hitting coach for a half-season in 2007). This past season, he worked as a scout. Presumably, during his time with the Dodgers, Mueller has had a great deal of experience working with both minor league hitters and Major League hitters, experience that would be viewed as valuable by the Cubs.
Although I can’t find an electronic footprint, I vaguely recall Mueller’s name popping up a couple years ago when the Cubs were considering a change at hitting coach. He would certainly be an interesting candidate, given his big league success/approach, though it remains to be seen how well that kind of thing translates to coaching.