The Cubs announced Tuesday as part of numerous baseball operations hirings and promotions that Manny Ramirez is officially back with the organization.
According to the release from the team, Manny Ramirez has been hired to be a hitting consultant at the Major League and Minor League levels. Ramirez will work with hitters in the organization on the fundamental and mental aspects of hitting.
Theo Epstein stunned the baseball world last year when he gave Ramirez another opportunity in the game. Ramirez was a player-coach for the Iowa Cubs and seemed to be more focused on his playing career at times than being a coach.
Players such as Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Mike Olt and Javier Baez were extremely complimentary of Ramirez and each player said they learned a lot about hitting from Ramirez. And Ramirez was able to reach several of the players in extended Spring Training preparing for Rookie Ball or rehabbing an injury and that’s where he created the bond with Jorge Soler.
Before the managerial shift took place, rumors suggested Manny Ramirez could be a coach on the Cubs’ Major League staff, possibly an assistant hitting coach to Bill Mueller, who at the time was on the team’s staff. But once Mueller resigned, the talk of Ramirez joining the staff went away and the front office eventually hired John Mallee and Eric Hinske.
Theo Epstein said in October that Manny Ramirez considered the Cubs his organization after spending a majority of the season in the system. Epstein indicated that if Ramirez wanted to be part of the organization moving forward, the Cubs would find a job for him.
And Manny Ramirez has a connection to Joe Maddon. The Rays were the last team Ramirez played for in the majors. Ramirez played in five games for Tampa Bay in 2011 and was 1-for-17 with a RBI.
Manny Ramirez is expected in camp Wednesday. And Theo Epstein said Ramirez will be at Wrigley Field, in uniform, this season helping hitters during one homestand a month.