In addition to watching minor-league prospects Starlin Castro, Josh Vitters and Andrew Cashner in the Arizona Fall League, the Cubs may have made significant progress toward hiring Rudy Jaramillo as their new hitting coach.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry declined to comment on the record Friday when contacted by telephone about Jaramillo because the coach is under contract to the Texas Rangers until Oct. 31.
However, Jaramillo this week declined a one-year offer to return to the Rangers, and the Rangers said they'll grant permission to other clubs wishing to interview the highly respected batting coach.
It is believed the Cubs have spoken to Jaramillo, and sources indicate he is clearly Hendry's top candidate to fill the job. If all goes well, Jaramillo could be on board in a few days, giving the Cubs the kick-start they want to an important off-season.
Hiring a new hitting coach, obviously, is not the magic pill for all the Cubs' ills, and as we all know, there are limits to what a hitting coach can do to help. Nevertheless, Jaramillo has a reputation as one of the best in the business. Often, coaches are hired because they're buddies with the manager (Dusty Baker's coaching staff was a prime example). The only current Cubs coach who fits this description is Matt Sinatro, and he's in a spot (1B coach) where he can't do too much damage. It's good to see the Cubs head right after a coach who's supposed to have helped many of today's stars.
Meanwhile, although last night's Angels/Yankees game was played in less-than-ideal conditions -- mainly because the expected rain held off -- the forecast for tonight and tomorrow is not very encouraging. Their best bet might be to postpone games both today and tomorrow, play game two at the time game three was originally scheduled (3:13 pm CDT on Monday) in New York, then fly to California for game three on Tuesday and skip the off day on Wednesday. That would get them back on schedule.
Once again, no overflows scheduled today. If you need one, post it in the FanShot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.