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Former Cub Bill Mueller to return as hitting coach

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Updated: December 24, 2013 6:10AM



Former Cubs infielder Bill Mueller, who went on to become the 2003 American League batting champion, will return to the team next season as hitting coach under new manager Rick Renteria, the team announced Friday.

This will be the first full-time coaching job for Mueller, 42, who spent the second half of the 2007 season as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ interim hitting coach. He spent the last six seasons as a special assistant in the Dodgers’ front office.

The team also announced, as expected, that pitching coach Chris Bosio and bullpen coach Lester Strode will return, along with catching coach Mike Borzello and staff assistant Franklin Font.

Newcomers to the staff are Brandon Hyde — who had been director of player development — as bench coach, ex-Cub Mike Brumley as assistant hitting coach, Gary Jones as third base/infield coach and Jose Castro as quality-assurance coach.

A first-base coach has yet to be named.

In hiring Mueller, the Cubs also reunite team president Theo Epstein with one of his former Boston Red Sox players. Mueller’s 11-year playing career began with the San Francisco Giants in 1996. He played for the Cubs from 2001 to ’02, then signed with the Red Sox as a free agent in 2003. He joined the Dodgers in 2006, which was his final season. For his career, Mueller hit .291 with a .373 on-base percentage.

Bosio, 50, served as former manager Dale Sveum’s pitching coach the last two seasons. Strode, 55, will begin his eighth season with the team.

Jones, 53, spent the last 11 seasons with the San Diego Padres, with whom Renteria had been a longtime coach under manager Bud Black.

Hyde, 40, served as bench coach for Jack McKeon with the Florida Marlins in 2010 and ’11. He spent nine years as a coach in the Marlins’ organization. Hyde joined the Cubs in 2011 as minor-league field coordinator and was named director of player development in 2012.

Brumley, 51, spent the last four seasons as the Seattle Mariners’ first-base coach. His seven-year playing career began with the Cubs in 1987. He later played for the Mariners, Red Sox, Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics. Brumley then spent 13 seasons as a minor-league manager, field coordinator and instructor.

Castro, 55, spent the last 25 years as a minor-league hitting coordinator or hitting coach for five teams.

The team also announced that Jaron Madison will replace Hyde as director of player development and Matt Dorey will become director of amateur scouting.

Email: tginnetti@suntimes.com

Twitter: @toniginnetti



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