Rudy Jamarillo: The Cubs' most important acquisition?

Rudy Jamarillo is different than others. He has the reputation as the "best hitting coach in baseball." You can even go online and buy his "5 Simple Steps Hitting Video". Not so for Gerald Perry or Von Joshua (although Von Joshua did have the "Fuzz Machine").

The Cubs weren't able to go sign away their hitting problems this year. They've got to depend on the guys they have to hit better next year. That's a whole lotta weight gonna be on Jamarillo's shoulders, so I think he deserves a bigger title than just the "hitting coach".

This being Chicago, that means something government-like. With an official seal.

How's about "Commissioner of the Office of Hitting Skills Renewal Management"?

Here's what Commissioner Jamarillo has to do:

First, he's got to deal with the media and be in charge of Hitting Skills Public Relations.
Why was signing Marlon Byrd so great? Ask Rudy: "He's made alot of adjustments. Every year, he got better. I'm real excited about him coming over there. He brings lots of energy and leadership. He wants to win."

Marlon being a successful Rudy disciple is also good PR. And in fact Marlon can help Rudy "get my system out a little quicker and faster" because "Marlon is a good teacher."

Which is good, because the next thing Rudy has to do is get the Cubs to hit.

Geovany Soto hit .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs in 2008. Last year he was injured a little, wasted all that time with the WBC, and hit a sophomore slumping .218 with 11 dingers and 47 RBIs.

Alfonso Soriano was a terror with the bat early last season, then something went bad with the legs and that Fonzie thing where he carries the team on his shoulders by being a one man wrecking crew never really happened later on. In 8 more games than he played in '08, Alfonso hit 9 less homers, 20 less RBIs, and his average sunk to a .241 career low (not counting his 22 game Yankee season in 2000).

Worse, he looked like a joke swinging at the breaking balls in the dirt that were closer to first base than the plate.

Then there's Kosuke Fukudome and the headless tornado swing.

Ryan Theriot's gotta be one of the best students on the team, but that hasn't really worked out so well. He was doing fine with the Gerald Perry thing, then Aramis goes down, Von Joshua comes up. Shows Ryan the "Fuzz Machine" and then Lou asks him to maybe hit a couple more homers. It switched Ryan up. Numbers go like this: 2008 he hit .307 with 73 walks and 58 strikeouts, 2009 he hit .284 with 51 walks and 93 strikeouts. Now, he did go from 1 homer to 7, and 38 RBIs to 54, but I think we want to see Ryan be the guy crossing the plate when somebody else knocks him in.

Anyway, Rudy's got to settle him down.

Fontenot was a train wreck, and you could say didn't take advantage of perhaps his only chance to be a starter in the Bigs.

So that's alot of fixing to do, Commissioner Jamarillo, and it makes you the most important acquisition the Cubs got, at least so far, during this Hot Stove season.

May your System be correct, the Office of Hitting Skills Renewal Management be a success, and may the Baseball Gods be with you.


yet tom emanski is still unemployed. it's a travesty.

Q: In your own words, describe your repertoire. Have you developed a swing-and-miss pitch? I know that was one of the things you were looking to develop last year (2008) in the Fall League.

A: I throw a four-seamer, a sinker, a slider, a changeup and a curveball. I was really trying to work on – my slider wasn’t as sharp as it probably should be and that’s what I was working on last year. This past year, it really showed that that was probably my swing-and-miss pitch along with my sinker. It’s coming along and keeps getting better every time I go out and try and use it.

Q: I understand you made some mechanical adjustments that have helped your cause a little. Can you go into that and talk about what you’ve cleaned up?

A: (A’s bullpen coach) Ron Romanick and (pitching coach) Curt Young kind of tweaked my mechanics to lower my arm slot to get a little more deception. Between the two years -- last year and the year before -- I saw a big change. I’d never really thought it that big of a difference but that really helped.

grew up a Cardinals and Astros fan

i keep forgetting he's in the pen mix.

Have the Cubs announced a list of nonroster invities yet?

I can't imagine any other team was even in the neighborhood. Boras does it again.

So I assume the Cubs plan now is to get a voodoo doll of Chris Carpenter and pray for injury...

not a good contract, but for the next 2-3 years it should help make them the favorites in the Central.

They were so impressed by Soriano they wanted one of their own.

I am not all doom and gloom about the Cardinals being a 93 win team for the next three years. I'll go out on a limb and say that their #3 starter won't match Piniero's season and Holliday won't come in at 35 OPS+ above his career average every year. Last year was their equivalent to the 2008 Cubs year.

"They were so impressed by Soriano they wanted one of their own."

Classic, Mr Real.

I honestly don't understand the Cardinals paying Holliday so much for so long. I'm not saying he's not good. He is a good ball player. But $17 million per year for 7 years good? I don't see that.

Obviously, the Cardinals are better with Holliday than without him, but in the relatively near future, I can see his contract really hamstringing the team. As Neal pointed out, he really is the St. Louis version of Soriano.

It will be really interesting to see how St. Louis handles Pujols when his contract runs out. If they re-sign him, will they be able to afford anyone else? They're going to have $37-$40 million per year tied up in just two players. Plus, if they exercise Carpenter's option, there's another $15 million. Ouch...

I agree. He's a very good slugger and I wish to hell the Cubs would develop one before i die. But that's a lotta years for a guy who is, basically, just a slugger. A good slugger. A better contract than Soriano's, given the current market situations. I'll be interesting what happens in a few years if he declines a bit, but I sure love this:

"If I were Commissioner for a day I'd change the rules so that you get credited with a sacrifice if you get a runner from second to third on a fly ball or on a ground ball." -

Sammy Fuld, you big brother is a talking to you

This will probably cost them Puljos



What it may do is cost them the possibility to be competitive with two players taking up 40% of their salary, though.

Wainwright is going to be a free agent after two more years, as well. According to Boras they can probably afford a $150 million salary for 2012, but I'd be surprised if they try to support just those three guys.

You gotta figure Pujols on getting A-Rod money, right? Or close...he's not a 3rd baseman and he's not in New York (maybe). But it's going to be 2012 when the contract starts, not 08. I see him averaging at least 27 mil over 7 or 8 years. That's 44 mil adding Holliday. Then another 18 to 20 mil for Wainright in 2014 if all goes well for them. Lots can change by then, but still. That's some bucks for St. Lou.

Were the Cardinals crying poor last summer?

They're crying poor right now. See Piniero, Joel or DeRosa, Mark for reference.

turns down 2/17M offer from Giants

Yeah I saw that. Now that Kotchman is with the Mariners... not sure where he thinks that money is coming from.

On the other hand, the Cardinals just gave a 7 year contract to a guy with one suitor, so who knows?

"On the other hand, the Cardinals just gave a 7 year contract to a guy with one suitor"

It's a beautiful thing. I guess it means the Cubs will get a little run for their money the next couple years. Is Rod Marinelli available?

It's the Cardinals. He'll probably go on to win MVP 5 out of the next 7 years.

Your momma.


... but damn is that dude good at his job. Seriously, fucking, good. It's really hard for me to not respect that.

You know who else was good at his job?


Oh. And this guy:


Hitler, AZ Phil, and nobody who comments here daily (myself included).

2 got Holliday right and it gives Jim Hickman's bat the lead...

My lead won't last, but for now.... I am Spartacus! I drink your milkshakes! Etc...

I thought Lou was the hitting coach all along. ???!!!

I do think Holliday is a better investment than Soriano just by means of far better plate discpline...although they'll certainly be hating it in a few seasons.

WARP-1 over last 5 years for Soriano: 1.6, 8.2, 6.4, 3.5. -0.0
Holliday - 2.1, 4.3, 7.1, 5.8, 5.8

WAR for Soriano: 2.0, 5.5, 5.6, 3.1, -0.7
Holliday: 3.3, 4.4, 8.0, 6.3, 5.7

fwiw, Boras said there were other offers for higher average salary but less years and Holliday liked St. Louis and preferred the long term committment.

Apples to apples. Compare them as they hit free agency.

WARP-1 previous 5 years heading into FA for Soriano: 6.4, 5.4, 1.9, 1.6, 8.2(2006)

WAR for Soriano: 5.0, 4.8, 1.8, 2.0, 5.5
Holliday: 3.3, 4.4, 8.0, 6.3, 5.7

listening to XM radio, Jim Bowden was on and said his friends/sources in the Marlins office think they'll have Chapman signed by the end of the weekend.

no dollar amount was mentioned...

Since the Marlins are always dollar-challenged, now that they've committed money to Chapman (apparently), Dan Uggla should REALLY be available. How can the Cubs get in on that? I'll gladly take Uggla's awful defense to get that bat in the everyday lineup.

Wells and Fontenot?

We're gonna need Wells. Uggla is intriguing but he's really bad on D. Not that our current 2B options are great, but I'm not sure I want to see him and Riot turning DPs.

I agree that Wells would leave a bigger need than Uggla fills (at $5 million less in salary).

ESPN reported that they're going to try to trade Cantu, not Uggla. Good luck with that.

Then we can be victims of Cubbery while being Uggla'd? That would be confusing.

My 2010 prediction... you heard it here first...

Soriano rakes. 35 homers.

Maybe in BP.

What are you basing this on?

I agree with Ryno. I really think Soriano is gonna bounce back. I have no idea why I think this. It's almost as if somebody has been deliberately repeating the phrase "bounce back" over and over so that it would be imprinted on my subconscious.

I better go buy some Spring Training tickets and Cubs merch...


And I'm usually right... except when it comes to predicting the Reds would be wildly successful. That definitely did not work out as planned.

Oh, and except the time I thought the Cubs should spend the money on Jason Schmidt rather than Soriano.

Do you remeber when you refered us to Bernie Madoff several years back?

Hawk gets in the Hall!!!


Very cool and about time.

Hooray for Dawson!!

Blyleven missed by 5 votes.

What a neat surprise. Congrats to the Hawk.

Will he go in as a Cub or Expo? My guess would be Expo because of the time he spent in Montreal.


Blyleven and Alomar just missed. I'm surprised to see Larkin got such little support. Maybe he should've done more backflips.

I think Larkin eventually gets in, but he'll probably have to take the long road, especially with some of the expected shoe-ins coming up in the next few years.

As for Alomar, I agree he's a HoF'er, but not putting him in on the first ballot seems correct.

I don't agree with the 1st ballot nonsense. There are plenty of players who were a lot better than 1st ballot guys who are in.

Congrats to Dawson and to his HOF supporters. As I've said, I wouldn't have voted for him, but I'm not upset by his inclusion and I'm very happy for my fellow Cub fans.

I second that emotion.

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  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 9 min 25 sec ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 11 hours 8 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 12 hours 1 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 12 hours 33 min ago view

    crunch 12 hours 43 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 12 hours 54 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • make that just peralta...

    crunch 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • a.soriano new OF fielding coach?

    crunch 14 hours 22 min ago view
  • Why is Almora jumping up on catches?

    jacos 14 hours 24 min ago view