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Hitting coach update

If the Cardinals had any hopes of improving their situational hitting by replacing incumbent batting coach Hal McRae with Rudy Jaramillo, it would appear they were fruitless.

Word out of Chicago is that Jaramillo is close to a deal to come to the Cubs to take their hitting job. Jaramillo, who was with the Rangers before the sides decided to part ways earlier this week, tutored Cubs malcontent Milton Bradley to his best career season in 2008 when they were both in Texas.

If not Chicago, Jaramillo has close ties with Mets management and has been rumored as a possibility to go there and light a fire under New York's underachieving offense.

It is still widely believed that the Cardinals will replace hitting coach Hal McRae following their late season and post season flop at the plate.

Another potential successor, former Cardinals September star Will Clark, doesn't seem to be interested in a fulltime baseball job. He declined to interview for the hitting coach job with the Giants, where he played the bulk of his career, in favor of a part time special consultant position with the club.

The guy Clark would have replaced might make an interesting Cardinals candidate, though. Carney Lansford was fired by the Giants and he sounded happy to leave. The former major league third baseman who was known for his contact hitting complained that the Giants had nothing but a bunch of free swingers who refused to work the count and create good hitting situations.

The Redbirds batsmen, for the most part, could use some plate discipline and advice on how to be more selective at the plate. The question is, will Brendan Ryan, Skip Schumaker, Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick be more attentive than the Giants players who cost Lansford his job.

He might get the benefit of the doubt, should manager Tony La Russa come back for 2010. La Russa was Lansford's manager back in the Oakland glory days of the 1980s.