Nov 26, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT
Chicago is the latest team to join the trend of multiple hitting coaches, as the Cubs have hired Rob Deer to assist primary hitting coach James Rowson. Deer has been a hitting instructor in the Padres’ farm system and was teammates with Cubs manager Dale Sveum on the Brewers.
News of hitting and pitching coaches being hired is inevitably met with jokes about how that person wasn’t very good as a player and Deer is an easy target for that type of thinking (if you don’t believe me, just search his name on Twitter). He hit .220 during an 11-year career, led the league in strikeouts four times, and was the poster boy for all-or-nothing hitters in the 1980s.
Of course, those jokes conveniently ignore the fact that a) very few Hall of Fame-caliber players go into coaching when they retire, and b) most of the best, longest-tenured coaches across baseball had underwhelming playing careers.
In other words, the fact that Rob Deer hit .220 and struck out a ton means next to nothing about his coaching ability. If anything, Deer’s playing career was longer and better than the majority of hitting and pitching coaches. He smacked 230 homers and posted a .766 OPS that was solidly above average.
- Alex Rodriguez is the all-time AL RBI champion. Sorta. 62
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 80
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak: Matt Adams out 3-4 months, possibly the year, with torn quad 58
- Bryce Harper leads in the first round of National League All-Star voting 29
- Buster Olney: The Marlins should hire A-Rod to be their next manager 51
- Breaking down the Braves-Dodgers trade 19
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 34
- So that Juan Uribe trade to the Braves is back on … 11