Cubs hire Jaramillo as hitting coach
Jaramillo spent 15 years as the hitting coach of the Texas Rangers
The Cubs finished the season batting .255
Jaramillo turned down a one-year deal from the Rangers last week
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs hired Rudy Jaramillo as their hitting coach on Wednesday, hoping he can resurrect an offense that struggled during a disappointing 2009 season.
Jaramillo, who spent 15 years as the hitting coach of the Texas Rangers, replaced Von Joshua. Joshua was removed after the season and offered a job in Triple-A, where he'd worked previously.
The Cubs finished the season batting .255.
Jaramillo turned down a one-year deal from the Rangers last week, ending a long run during which the Rangers were among the most feared lineups in baseball.
Jaramillo also served four years as the hitting coach of the Houston Astros.
"There's no higher league and there's no higher standard to judge a major-league hitting coach than the one that he's set the last 15 years. It couldn't come at a better time for us," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry Said.
"We know we had some offensive deficiencies with some outstanding players, some of which Rudy has known in the past and of course worked with some of them, and we're just thrilled to have him."
While with the Rangers, Jaramillo worked with Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley, both of whom struggled last season with the Cubs. Bradley had one of his better seasons with the Rangers in 2008. But last season, his first with Chicago, he was suspended for the final two weeks by Hendry after criticizing the atmosphere surrounding the team.
The Cubs are expected to seek a trade in the offseason for Bradley, who has two years and $21 million left on his contract.
"Obviously hiring Rudy had nothing to do with that. It's like I told you at the end of the year, we play the cards that we have and Milton is on the Cubs' roster and that's how we go about it until somebody is not on the roster," Hendry said.
Jaramillo said he can work with anyone, including Bradley.
"I don't know what his status is or whatever, but I have no problem," Jaramillo said. "We got along great and I kind of knew what buttons to push and he started trusting me and we started getting that rapport and things started getting better and better."
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