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.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ PHIL- Is Clayton Richard a free agent or not? One site I see he is, on another no. MLB has him listed as a free agent, Cot's contracts says he is a FA, baseball-reference says he's not, but Cubs have him on active roster. I know that he is just short of MLB 6 years service by just like 15 days, but that doesn't always matter.

  • Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...

  • Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.

  • The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request

  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha