The Cubs have “addressed” their offensive woes by firing hitting coach Gerald Perry and replacing him with Von Joshua, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Cubs’ inconsistency at the plate has been a major problem all year. Last season the team led the majors in runs, but this year they have had long stretches where they haven’t been able to do anything. These batting averages give an idea of how dismal the offensive output has been:
- Mike Fontenot .240
- Alfonso Soriano .233
- Milton Bradley .226
- Geovany Soto .209
The situation wasn’t helped when Aramis Ramirez went on the DL with a busted up shoulder.
Overall, the Cubs’ approach at the plate has been horrific this year. They have been wretched with runners in scoring position, have not worked pitchers, and their situational hitting has been more or less atrocious. Oh, and their lead-off man has no business being a lead-off man. Which leads us to the subject of who really deserves blame for this team’s failures. It’s not Gerald Perry, but general manager Jim Hendry, who failed in the off-season to address the team’s needs in a meaningful way.
Everyone knew they needed a left-handed bat. Hendry, rather than pursue Adam Dunn, a big-time power hitter and defensive liability, chose to throw big money at head-case Milton Bradley, an OBA guy who had one good season in the low-pressure environment of Texas, but began melting down almost the second he landed in Chicago…and oh by the way was never less of a defensive liability than Dunn. In case you hadn’t checked lately, Dunn has 17 homers and 45 RBI for the wretched Washington Nationals, while Bradley, as expected, has struggled to stay in the line-up, and even when he’s in, can’t perform simple baseball tasks like remember the number of outs.
Hendry’s other major off-season move was to trade away Mark DeRosa, a good RBI guy as well as a terrific insurance policy against, say, Aramis Ramirez getting hurt (ding ding!). DeRosa has had a solid year for Cleveland, hitting 10 homers and driving in 42 runs. And what did we get for him? I can’t remember. All I know is that, with DeRosa on the team, we wouldn’t have lost nearly as much production with the injury to Ramirez. And if you want to continue chronicling Hendry’s recent ineptitude when dealing with everyday players, just go back to 2008 when he gave huge money to Kosuke Fukudome, who for the second straight year is proving that, for him, the baseball season ends with May.
But if Gerald Perry knew what he was doing as a hitting coach, none of this would’ve happened. Sorry but Perry is nothing but the scapegoat. The Cubs have been crippled by a series of idiotic personnel decisions and bad breaks (Geovany Soto going down the toilet is no one’s fault). Of course there’s still time to save the season, but for it to happen, some major things are going to have to change. #1 should be no more effing Alfonso Soriano leading off. Until Lou Piniella addresses that on-going absurdity, nothing will be resolved.