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Cubs players say they'll miss Jaramillo

Cubs players say they'll miss Jaramillo

Cubs players say they'll miss Jaramillo
CHICAGO -- Most of the Cubs didn't find out Rudy Jaramillo had been dismissed as the club's hitting coach until they arrived at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

"You never like to see somebody go, but we have to move forward, we have to focus on trying to win ballgames," Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney said. "We're going to miss Rudy."

Jaramillo was in the final year of his contract and was let go because of the Cubs' offensive woes. They were hitting .247 overall entering Tuesday, and ranked 11th in the National League with runners in scoring position. Jaramillo was replaced on an interim basis by James Rowson, the Cubs' Minor League hitting coordinator.

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"I feel, every hitter here feels, it's our responsibility that he lost his job, because we didn't do the job," left fielder Alfonso Soriano said. "That's hard when you see guys like Rudy, who liked to work. He liked to work, and we felt comfortable with him. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and made the game so difficult.

"It's very sad to see him go," Soriano said.

Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, complimented Jaramillo on his ability to work with a hitter on his mechanics. Epstein said they wanted more attention paid to the approach at the plate.

"Rudy was very individualistic," Barney said. "He worked with guys on different things. With me, it was more the mechanical side of things early, and I felt I had a pretty good approach to hitting and did my homework. With other guys, he talked more approach.

"You're not going to really talk to someone like Jeff Baker about his mechanics," Barney said. "He's been doing this for a long time, and he knows how to hit a baseball. You probably talk to him more about the approach. He worked with guys on different things and what they thought they needed."

The Cubs have not been strong in terms of on-base percentage.

"We're hoping to get better at that," Barney said. "That was one thing Rudy and I did talk about and work on -- how can we take walks and be aggressive and get on base. That's still the process, that's still stuff we're working on here. It takes each guy individually to do their part. I think, over time, that's something we can get better at."

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