The Cubs are looking for two new hitting coaches in the wake of Bill Mueller stepping down from his position with the team. A week after Theo Epstein announced assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley was not asked back for the 2015 season, Mueller resigned and walked away from the second year of the contract, that included an option for the 2016 season, he signed last fall.
Bill Mueller was the team’s third hitting coach since the start of the 2012 season.
Multiple reports indicated the front office was not caught off guard by Mueller’s decision and already had a list of candidates in case Mueller chose to step down. Mueller and Brumley are reportedly very close and with Brumley weighing offers from outside the organization, Mueller decided not to return.
Mark Gonzales spoke with Bill Mueller about his decision. Mueller described the split with the Cubs as “very amicable.” Mueller wanted Brumley to keep his position on the coaching staff. Mueller told Gonzales the Cubs “took care of Mike” when Mueller was hired last year as part of his conditions to accept the position as Cubs hitting coach. Mueller said it unfortunately lasted only one year.
Theo Epstein told the beat writers he has “nothing but respect” for Mueller and that their relationship “is still good.” Epstein was in Glendale watching the Mesa Solar Sox play.
Rumors and speculation have suggested that Manny Ramirez will join the Cubs coaching staff this off-season. According to a report from David Kaplan, that is not the case. Kaplan reported Manny Ramirez is not a candidate for the Cubs hitting coach or assistant hitting coach position.
Kaplan reiterated Manny Ramirez has not decided to call it a career and would like to still play next season. According to Kaplan’s report, “it is expected he will have a role within the Cubs organization” once he retires. Ramirez has “made it clear to people close to him that the only organization he wants to work for in professional baseball is the Cubs and Theo Epstein.”
The Cubs have received permission from at least two teams to talk to candidates on the front office’s list. The Cubs are expected to make a decision soon on who will be the team’s fourth hitting coach in four seasons.
The Cubs are not looking for a first year hitting coach again. And do not plan on promoting from within the organization according to a report from Carrie Muskat. The team would like to hire an experienced Major League hitting coach that knows how to work with young players. The new hitting coach will have a say in who the team hires to be his assistant.
Patrick Mooney reported Rangers’ hitting coach Dave Magadan is “on the radar but not believed to be the frontrunner.” Magadan has a history with the Cubs front office from their days together in Boston and has been connected to the Cubs for the hitting coach position in the past.
Mooney also reported Oakland’s hitting coach Chili Davis “is a person of interest” for the Cubs. Davis and Epstein also have a history together. Davis was Triple-A Pawtucket’s hitting coach in 2011. Mooney indicated Davis will either stay with the A’s or take the hitting coach’s job in Boston. Former White Sox and Braves hitting coach Greg Walker is not a candidate for the Cubs according to the report from Comcast SportsNet.
Sahadev Sharma reported that Astros’ hitting coach John Mallee is the leading candidate to land the hitting coach’s job. Mallee and Brandon Hyde, the Cubs bench coach, were together in Miami when Mallee was the Marlins’ hitting coach.
Theo Epstein said Tuesday the new hitting coach should be hired rather quickly.