Today the Cubs signed the best hitting instructor available to a three-year contract. I think this is a positive move because it shows that the club realizes a specific weakness and it is taking concrete steps to try to rectify things. At the same time I have to recognize that just changing management personnel won’t be a magic wand either. Soto, Fontenot, Theriot and Soriano had major drop-offs in production – each of these guys is going to have to step it up if they are to rebound in 2010. Soto looked heaver in 2009, much like he did in 2007 – if that is the case weight can be lost in the offseason. Hopefully Soto, Soriano and Ramirez will also rebound from nagging injuries that undoubtedly affected their performances in 2009 as well. There is also the question about what to do with Micah Hoffpaiur and I’d be willing to wager that a young player like Jake Fox could benefit from Jaramillo’s approach and experience as well.
It was interesting to note that no mention was mentioned of Milton Bradley in the article, Muskat simply said that Jaramillo had “worked with current Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano.” Although Carrie is not an official mouthpiece of the Cubs organization her lack of mention here was noticeable. My sense also would be that the hiring of Rudy would not indicate a willingness on the Cubs part to rehabilitate Bradley. Another off-season issue will be what to do with Derrek Lee; the Cubs first baseman had an outstanding year and is entering the final year of his Cubs contract. The same can be said for Ted Lilly.