As a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I've seen my fair share of epic fails over the years. But even by Cubs' standards, the lack of scoring during Chicago's recent losing streak is embarrassing. I get that Theo Epstein is trying to unload as many veterans and as much salary as possible. But this is ridiculous.
Still, the Cubs have actually outhit the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros in their last four losses. Chicago has simply not gotten hits with men in scoring position. I suspect the Cubs are pressing and players who have no business trying to hit homeruns are trying to hit kill shots instead of playing smart, situational baseball.
Not that it's all his fault, but it may be time for the Chicago Cubs to bring in a new batting coach. Somehow, Rudy Jaramillo has survived the regime change in Chicago and he has been the Cubs batting coach since 2009. At no time during his tenure has the Cubs lineup struck fear in opposing pitchers.
Theo Epstein can't trade or cut Chicago's entire roster. And he certainly isn't going to fire Dale Sveum so early in his tenure. But a lot of people in Chicago pay good money for tickets to Wrigley Field. Ultimately, someone needs to be accountable for the Cubs' lack of scoring and batting coach Rudy Jaramillo may need to be the fall guy.
Mickey Hatcher, one of the best MLB batting coaches, is available. Thanks to Albert Pujols' poor start with the Los Angeles Angels, the club fired batting coach Mickey Hatcher. From 2000 to 2011, Hatcher helped the Angels notch nine winning seasons, six postseason appearances and one World Series title in 2002.
More importantly, Mickey Hatcher was always able to get the most out of a lineup that usually didn't hit for much power. Sound familiar? Under Hatcher, the Angels were only in the top five in AL homeruns twice. However, Mickey Hatcher clearly was an effective batting coach because the Angels led the AL in hitting three times under his tenure.
Whether Albert Pujols and Mickey Hatcher clashed in Los Angeles doesn't matter. What does matter to Chicago fans is that one of the best MLB batting coaches is on the market. It may be time for Chicago to wish Rudy Jaramillo all the best in his future endeavors and bring in Mickey Hatcher as Cubs batting coach.
Patrick Michael is a resident of New Orleans, but grew up watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN with Harry Caray and Steve Stone as the announcers. A diehard Cubs fan, Patrick's favorite season was 1984 when the Cubs were one win away from reaching the World Series. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
"2012 Chicago Cubs," baseball-reference.com
"Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim," baseball-reference.com
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