Updated 3:39pm CDT – Cubs confirmed reports Bill Mueller will not return as the Cubs hitting coach for the 2015 season. Mueller decided not to return due to family reasons and the front office’s decision not to retain assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley.
According to reports from ESPN Chicago and Comcast SportsNet, Bill Mueller has resigned his position as Cubs hitting coach a week after assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley was not retained for the 2015 season.
Mueller and Brumley were reportedly very close and Brumley is weighing options for positions with other teams outside of the Cubs organization.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer hired Mueller last fall to take over as the Cubs hitting coach on new manager Rick Renteria’s staff.
According to reports from ESPN Chicago, Mueller stepping down does not open the door for Manny Ramirez to be the Cubs hitting coach. And Patrick Mooney reported “the Cubs are said to be targeting an established hitting coach and won’t be hiring a first-year guy.”
ESPN Chicago reported the Cubs wanted Bill Mueller to return as Cubs hitting coach, but when Mike Brumley was not asked back it made Mueller’s decision easier to step down. Mueller was hesitant on taking the hitting coach’s position last year.
Bill Mueller and Mike Brumley replaced James Rowson and Rob Deer as the hitting coaches on the Cubs big league staff when the front office replaced Dale Sveum with Rick Renteria last fall.
The Cubs must find stability with the team’s new hitting coaches. There has been too much turn over the past three years and there needs to be a consistent message from the front office to the coaching staff to the young players.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, the front office was not surprised Mueller resigned and the Cubs are close to hiring a replacement for Bill Mueller.