With the Cubs hitting funk getting worse and worse, the Cubs decided to make a move by replacing Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry with Triple-A Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua. GM Jim Hendry had this to say about the move: “Obviously, we’ve been struggling for a long time. I’m not one to dump all the blame on the coaches. I’ve never mad a coaching change to my knowledge in the middle of the year. I think sometimes you need a different voice. Every day, we have five guys in the lineup who have played in the All-Star Game. For whatever reason, they are not performing anywhere close to where they’ve performed in their careers. Sometimes you have to try something different, and sometimes it’s a different voice maybe saying the same things.”
Von Joshua has been a hitting coach since 1984. He is in his 4th year at Iowa and has worked with several of the young Cubs players on the major league roster, including Ryan Theriot, Micah Hoffpauir and Mike Fontenot. Joshua also worked at the big league level with the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox.
The move was tough on Manager Lou Pinella who had Perry on his staffs in both Seattle and Chicago. “It’s tough on me, because I’ve been with Gerald a long time, six years. This was an organizational decision. Gerald and I were together in Seattle and together here in Chicago. We’ve had success together. I thank him for all the hard work that he’s put in on my staffs.”
It has been frustrating for everyone involved. In 2008, the Cubs led the National League in runs scored. But in 2009, the Cubs rank 14th and are hitting only .246 as a team. Ryan Theriot has the highest batting average of any starter at .278 – what a joke. Alfonso Soriano is hitting .233; Kosuke Fukodome only .266 after starting the season well over .300; Milton Bradley only .226 and Geovany Soto only .209. When the Cubs lost 2-0 to the Twins on Saturday, it was the 13th time in the last 23 games in which the Cubs have scored 2 runs or less in a ball game. Not good. Not good.
I guess it can’t get any worse, and maybe having a new coach working with the players could help. Maybe he’ll spot something on a player or 2 that Perry missed, and once 1 or 2 guys start to get hot, it could have a snowball effect at some point down the line. Trying to stay optimistic here…