clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Will Tom Brunansky Be The Cubs' New Batting Coach?

New, 38 comments

This article is being written because of a random rumor. You like random rumors, don't you?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Here's the random rumor:

Gleeman is from Minnesota, covers the Twins and writes for Hardball Talk, among other things. I don't think he's any more plugged-in than anyone else, but this is at least a rumor to talk about.

Brunansky has been the Twins' batting coach for the last three seasons, after several years coaching in the Twins' minor-league system. This matches what Theo Epstein said yesterday he's looking for in a replacement for Bill Mueller:

Done the job before? Check. Young players? Well, Brunansky was a minor-league coach and the Twins have quite a number of young, up-and-coming hitters, whose progress led the Twins to score 100 more runs in 2014 than they did in 2013.

Brunansky is a long-time Twin who also spent time with the Red Sox and Cardinals. It was while he was playing for St. Louis that he was involved in a famous play at Wrigley Field during the 1989 N.L. East race. In the eighth inning on September 9, Dwight Smith led off with a clean single to right, but decided, right in front of Brunansky, to try to take second. Brunansky, shocked, fumbled the ball and threw late. Smith was safe at second; he eventually scored the tying run in a key game the Cubs won in extra innings.

Brunansky's playing career was decent; he hit 20 or more homers eight times (271 for his career), didn't hit for much of a batting average (.245 lifetime) but drew walks pretty well (770, for a career OBP of .327 despite the mediocre BA). Sounds like a guy who might be able to help the Cubs' young hitters.

Epstein said he wanted to "move quickly" to hire someone and had already asked permission to talk to a couple of existing coaches. There's a reason Brunansky might be available -- the Twins, as you know, fired manager Ron Gardenhire after the season ended and whoever they hire might want to bring in a new coaching staff. Incidentally, did you know that Gardenhire was the first Twins manager fired since 1986? The Twins have had just two managers since then, Gardenhire and Tom Kelly, and Kelly resigned in 2001. The last manager fired by the Twins was Ray Miller, who was replaced by Kelly September 12, 1986.

Again, I have nothing more than Gleeman's tweet to think that Brunansky is one of the coaches Theo has requested permission to interview, but he fits the profile, and I figure you'd rather have some rumor to discuss than nothing.

So, have at it.