Joshua won't return to Cubs in 2010
Hitting coach will be given option to return to Triple-A Iowa
CHICAGO -- The Cubs will bring their entire coaching staff back for 2010 with the exception of hitting coach Von Joshua, who will be given the chance to stay with the Triple-A Iowa team.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said on Sunday Joshua didn't do anything wrong, but there wasn't significant improvement from the time that he took over for Gerald Perry, who was relieved of his duties on June 14. That lack of improvement, Hendry said, prompted him to decide to look for someone else.
The 2009 season was Joshua's fourth as the Iowa Cubs' hitting coach, and he will be offered the opportunity to stay with the Minor League team.
"There's no blame to be handed out," Hendry said. "We had a lot of guys who didn't swing the bats like they're capable of. When Von came up, we were scuffling, and we never really made a lot of progress in the same areas that we were deficient in the first half."
The Cubs finished with a team batting average of .255, 12th in the National League. They struggled this season to deliver with runners in scoring position, and scored 707 runs. Last year, the Cubs led the NL with 855 runs scored.
First baseman Derrek Lee was asked if Joshua had made a difference.
"I hate to say it, but hitting coaches are overrated, know what I mean?" Lee said. "It's more of a mental thing. Gerald was a great guy and always had positive things to say, and same with Von. They're always in your corner.
"Bottom line is, the best hitting coach is yourself," Lee said. "None of the blame should go to either of those two guys. We just struggled as a whole all year."
Hendry met with all of the coaches on Sunday. The decision means Lou Piniella will begin his fourth season with the Cubs with bench coach Alan Trammell, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, first base coach Matt Sinatro, third base coach Mike Quade, bullpen coach Lester Strode, and special assistant Ivan DeJesus.
Most of the players packing up for the offseason after Sunday's 5-2 loss to Arizona in the regular-season finale may not have known about Hendry's decision.
"It's something I decided to do this last week or so," Hendry said. "We've got work to do, roster-wise, and one coaching decision, and we'll move on."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.