In fifteen seasons as the Texas Rangers’ hitting instructor, Rudy Jaramillo put together an impressive enough track record to get a three-year, $2.42 million deal from the Chicago Cubs following the 2009 season--believed to be the highest salary in history for a hitting instructor at the time.
But as it happens in Chicago sometimes, the high-priced answer to their on-field woes didn’t work out. Jaramillo was fired by the Cubs on Tuesday, less than halfway through the final year of his deal.
“This goes beyond Rudy, but our on-base percentage as an organization has gone down five consecutive years,” said Theo Epstein, Cubs’ president of baseball operations, per the Washington Post. “It’s not at an acceptable level right now. We need to do a better job at that.
“Is Rudy the reason why we’re not producing offensively? No, not at all. That’s something we own as an organization, and I own as someone who helped put the roster together. I don’t think this had to do with any departing players or Rudy’s performance. It was more philosophical.”
The Cubs currently rank 27th in the league with a .304 on-base percentage and 19th with a .247 team batting average. Jaramillo will be replaced by James Rowson, Chicago’s minor league hitting coordinator.