The Cubs make it official and hire Jaramillo

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Or at least they will sometime today, according to ESPN’s Bruce Levine:

The Cubs will announce Wednesday that former Texas Rangers hitting instructor Rudy Jaramillo has signed a three-year, $2.42 million contract to become Chicago’s next hitting coach, player sources told ESPNChicago.com on Tuesday . . . The Rangers offered Jaramillo just a one-year deal at a modest raise over his 2009 contract of $650,000 to stay in Texas, sources said.

That’s a lot of dough for a hitting coach, especially considering that no one has ever really shown that hitting coaches, you know, do anything.  Still, Jaramillo has experience with Milton Bradley. And assuming they got along in Texas, simply having someone who can provide a buffer between Bradley and Piniella and whoever else Bradley is alienating at any given time may make this contract worthwhile.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.