With ex-Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo returning to Arlington this weekend with the Cubs, someone can't resist wondering if his old club misses him ...
- The Rangers mostly struggle, struggle, struggle at the plate. Numbers are down in power, runs and batting average.
Rudy Jaramillo says he hasn't noticed.
No, really. He's says he's serious.
Rudy comes "home" for the weekend, this time in the uniform of the Chicago Cubs, and he claims he knows more about the next three Rangers' starting pitchers, because of scouting reports, than he does the statistical situation with his former hitters.
After 15 years as the Rangers' hitting coach, making Jaramillo by far the longest-tenured in-uniform employee in franchise history, Rudy bolted last fall. The Cubs offered big money and a multiyear deal. The Rangers only countered with a one-year deal, at the same salary. Rudy tripled his guaranteed salary.
Jaramillo, of course, was highly respected in the clubhouse here. He is highly respected throughout baseball.
But the doubters were also here. Some of those were within the Rangers' organization, some who resented his power with the players, his so-called "approach" to hitting, and even his long tenure.
And those who operate in the geek world of baseball stats thought they had proof with their numbers on what Rudy and his hitters did, or mainly didn't, accomplish.
At the moment, the numbers are awful without him, which, by the way, is not a reflection of the guy who replaced him, the highly regarded Clint Hurdle.
In 2009, the Rangers finished seventh in the American League in OPS and seventh in scoring.
In 2010, the Rangers rank sixth in the American League in OPS and fifth in scoring.
I'm not sure what else to say about this. The Rangers apparently decided that no hitting coach, even one with Jaramillo's track record, is worth "big money and a multiyear deal." Nothing that's happened this season would support the argument that they were wrong.
But analyzing the Rangers' hitters without accounting for league context just isn't good enough. I don't know how much money the Rangers saved when they didn't match (or exceed) the Cubs' offer to Jaramillo. But a fourth of the way into the season, it looks like that money was probably better spent elsewhere.