Perry out; Joshua in as hitting coach

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http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/06/perry_out_joshua_in_as_hitting.html

The Cubs fired hitting coach Gerald Perry on Sunday and will promote Triple-A Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua to take over the job. Joshua will join the Cubs Monday, and be in uniform for Tuesday's Interleague game between the Cubs and White Sox.

The Cubs were ranked 13th in the National League in hitting with a .246 average, well below last year's numbers. They led the NL in runs in 2008, but are 14th this season.

"Obviously, we've been struggling for a long time," Hendry said. "I'm not one to dump all the blame on coaches. I've never made a coaching change to my knowledge in the middle of the year. I think sometimes you need a different voice.

"Von has had a lot of success with our guys on the way up," he said. "We have really, really struggled offensively for reasons way beyond Aramis [Ramirez] being gone for awhile. Every day, we have five guys in the lineup who have played in the All-Star Game. For whatever reason, they are not performing anywhere close to where they've performed in their careers. Sometimes you have to try something different, and sometimes it's a different voice maybe saying the same things.

"I never feel good about a coach taking the blame for the failures of our ballclub," he said.

Perry was at Wrigley Field on Sunday, and taking part in batting practice when he was called off the field around 11 a.m. CT and into the clubhouse to talk to Hendry.

Joshua is in his fourth year at Iowa, and has been a hitting coach since 1984.

"He's got a good way about him and probably a different approach," Hendry said. "He's done very well with us at Triple-A."

-- Carrie Muskat

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/06/perry_out_joshua_in_as_hitting.html