After hiring new manager Rick Renteria last week, the Chicago Cubs now turn their attention to his coaching staff. Pitching coach Chris Bosio and bullpen coach Lester Strode return from Dale Sveum‘s staff, but it appears that there will be a bunch of new faces on the Cubs’ bench next season.
With the manager and pitching coach in place, the next most important coaching position is the hitting coach. One name that the Cubs have recently been connected to is Bill Mueller.
Mueller played in the majors for 11 seasons, including 2001 and 2002 with the Cubs. He was known as a very patient hitter. Mueller had a career On-Base Percentage of .373 and walked more times than he struck out in four different seasons of his career. His .291 career Batting Average is not super impressive, but it is solid. His best season was in 2003 with the Boston Red Sox where he led the league in average, hitting .326. He also had an OBP of .398 and a Slugging Percentage of .540 that season.
He retired in 2006, and has since worked in the front office for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mueller actually took over as the hitting coach for the Dodgers for half of a season in 2007. He may not have much coaching experience, but he does have some and has been around the big league game for a very long time.
Cubs’ president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer come from the Red Sox school of thought, which is patience at the plate. Boston hitters are among the league leaders in walks and pitches seen year after year. Epstein and Hoyer are undoubtedly believers in a patient approach at the plate and Mueller would fit right in to that mold. I think that Mueller would be a fantastic hire for the Cubs and a perfect addition to Renteria’s coaching staff..