Bill Mueller Coming Home As Cards Assistant Hitting Coach
It kind of got lost in the shuffle of all the Jason Heyward, Jordan Walden – Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins trade this week. But, Bill Mueller, a St. Louis native and De Smet High grad, is coming home, so to speak, to take a job as the St. Louis Cardinals assistant hitting coach.
A former batting champ himself, Mueller resigned as hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs in early October shortly after his assistant hitting coach, Mike Brumley, had been reassigned within the organization.
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According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, after talking with Cardinals hitting coach John Mabry and sensing a fit and a welcoming environment, Mueller accepted the assistant hitting coach position.
"“What we wanted to create in Chicago was a 1A and 1B, not numbers on who is the coach and who is the assistant; it’s a partnership,” Mueller said. “We all want to be to able to have four eyes and two minds there for the guys whenever they need them. The organization sets the philosophy and John and Mike (Matheny) are going to do that, and I’m going to help in whatever way they ask, starting with creating the relationships with players and coaches that are important.”"
I don’t know if you were paying attention last season, but at times John and Mike really could have used some help. So, Mueller’s style sounds great to me! It will be fun to watch if this was just the thing the team needs.
Players really love working with Muller, apparently. Goold noted an interview Cubs GM Theo Epstein did with a Chicago media outlet. “Mueller is “a calming influence, very down to earth, very thorough, very knowledgeable,” Epstein told CSNChicago.com in July. “Players like him and trust him. He wasn’t the most physically gifted player in the world, but had an incredible work ethic, a great understanding of what he was trying to do in the box. He can really articulate hitting and a certain approach really well. But he’s flexible.”
So, the Cardinals have some guys that really could use a coach that can talk with them on a different level. After the death of Oscar Taveras they are just going to need this calming and down to earth attitude Epstein speaks of regarding Mueller. They are going to have their family … Mike and John are like fatherly or older brother figures. Their teammates. A level guy, coming from outside the organization, they can just talk hitting with will be good.
Time, of course, will tell but I think this was a good move for the team. Especially it’s players.