Exit Hitting Coach James Rowson and Other Bullets

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Exit Hitting Coach James Rowson and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

chicago cubs logoThe Little Boy is army crawling right now, and this morning, he was making a beeline for my computer whenever I got up to attend to other various fatherly duties. I found myself hurling blockades in front of him – blankets, toys, books – anything that might slow or distract him from reaching my computer before I returned. I immediately flashed on every zombie movie I’ve ever seen.

  • Just a day after indications that his job was unsafe, Chicago Cubs hitting coach James Rowson is no longer the Chicago Cubs’ hitting coach. Per the Tribune, Rowson has left to rejoin the Yankees organization as its minor league hitting coordinator, a job he held before coming to the Cubs two years ago. Although it would be a mistake to pin the poor offensive performance of a weak offensive roster on the hitting coach, it is fair to say that there aren’t many success stories to which to point over the 1.5 years Rowson held the hitting coach position. The Cubs will now look to hire their third hitting coach in three seasons, and the fate of assistant hitting coach Rob Deer remains up in the air (the position, itself, is not certain to be back in 2014).
  • Some housekeeping: if you’re looking for some sports action, that is to say, a place that offers online betting, why not check out SportsBettingOnline.ag?
  • Rowson joins first base coach Dave McKay as gents who’ve departed after Dale Sveum was fired last month. There will be others.
  • Over in Mesa yesterday, Jorge Soler went 1-5 with a couple strikeouts, and Kris Bryant did the same thing (though with one fewer strikeout). Armando Rivero threw a scoreless frame, allowing one hit and striking out one.
  • The Tribune collects managerial first words upon coming to the Cubs. Dale Sveum’s might be the most depressing.
  • A nice profile on Rick Renteria.
  • A fascinating, and ultimately disappointing, study at FanGraphs on the location of pitches where pitchers allow balls in play, and the rates at which those balls do damage. Much to the chagrin of our collective gut, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between inducing contact outside of the strike zone (the kind you would think of as “weak” contact) and a lower batting average on balls in play, or even a lower slugging percentage. You would have thought that hitters wouldn’t be doing as much damage when they are “fooled” into swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone, which is where their wheelhouse should fall. This was just one study, but it’s further evidence that pitchers can control extremely little of what goes on behind them, and the strongest indicator of effectiveness remains the good old-fashioned K/BB numbers.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.