Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do the Cubs Need to Make a Change on Their Coaching Staff?

Many times, when your team has one of the worst records in the league, a change on the coaching staff is considered. Improvements are rarely seen based on a tweak on the staff, but management likes to send the message to the team that losing will not be tolerated. So the question is, should the Cubs fire of their coaches?

Mike Quade is in his first year as the manager of the Cubs, as are many of the assistant coaches. Q has made some questionable decisions, but I don't think many people expected the Cubs to contend this year anyway. At this point, I think it would be best to stick it out with Quade for at least the rest of the season.

The two coaches that most often take the blame for their team's struggles are the pitching coach and the hitting coach. Pitching coach Mark Riggins is in his first year, so it may be too soon to pull the plug on him. However, I doubt that guys like Carlos Zambrano, Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster truly have that much respect for the longtime minor league coach. Riggins main job is to work with younger hurler such as the currently disabled Andrew Cashner, Chris Carpenter, Marcos Mateo and even Randy Wells or Jeff Samardzija. None of those guys have performed particularly well and I haven't heard anyone rave about Riggins. None the less, I'd stick with him for at least the duration of 2012.

Rudy Jaramillo is supposed to be a hitting guru. However, he has failed to help the Cubs offense. The hitters continue to scuffle in Jaramillo's second year on the job. If you're going to make a move just for the sake of making a move, I'd fire Rudy. The Cubs could bring Jim Riggleman on the staff to take his place or promote Dave Keller to interim hitting coach and then hire someone else at the end of the year.

Pat Listach might have been a mistake as Q's bench coach. Mike could have used an ex-big league manager at his side. If the Cubs hadn't been so rude to Alan Trammell, keeping him on would have been a good move. This is another place that Riggleman could take over. Rarely is a bench coach fired in the middle of the season.

Ivan DeJesus has made some poor decisions in the third base coaching box this season. Coaching third is a very difficult job. For next year, the Cubs may consider swapping DeJesus and Listach. Pat did a solid job coaching third for the Washington Nationals and DeJesus is familiar with a assistant coaching role in the dugout. I do think Ivan is an asset to the staff, but he has struggled a bit as the third base coach.


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