Chicago Cubs hitting coach James Rowson and assistant Rob Deer officially have not been fired, but Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, might look to replace them for the Cubs third hitting coach in as many seasons.
Epstein and Crane Kenney, president of business operations, gave a presentation Friday at the downtown Bankn of America Theater to Cubs season-ticket holders.
A video interview with new Cubs manager Rick Renteria and videos of some of the Cubs’ top prospects were shown. Epstein also discussed the Cubs’ plans this off-season, including a new hitting coach?
“The right hitting coach has to be on board with the organizational philosophy, but maybe more importantly, he has to be able to connect with players and teach them and support them and struggle with them and ultimately triumph with them,” Epstein said.
“It’s going to take a dynamic personality and somebody with a great feel. He has to have the ability to connect with all kinds of hitters because not everyone does it the same. But he has to be someone who is well-grounded and (emphasizes) selective aggressiveness.
“As a team, we want to lead the league in on-base percentage. You can’t just say it. You have to do it.”
Epstein also highlighted the Boston Red Sox patience hitting to the team’s success to work deep counts en route to their 2013 World Series title against the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals dynamic pitching.
ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rodgers has also pointed out the Cubs questionable hitting coaches.
“Rowson never made it to the majors as a player and is serving as a hitting coach for the first time at this level. Deer, the assistant hitting coach, is a former slugger/strikeout king with a career on-base percentage of .324.”
Epstein still has to find a replace for Dave McKay for a first-base coach, who joined Arizona in the same role, and two new hitting coaches would make four new hires for the Cubs in one off-season.
It appears the Cubs will begin searching for a new hitting coach tandem, who should Epstein and his team hire?