Mueller resigns, AFL kicks off

Cubs were making headlines off the field as hitting coach Bill Mueller resigned. The Arizona Fall league got underway on Tuesday as Addison Russell was the only Cubs prospect in the starting lineup and delivered a two-run single in Mesa’s 9-3 loss.

Bill Mueller resigns as hitting coach

Cubs hitting coach Bill Mueller’s tenure with the Cubs lasted one season as he announced his resignation on Tuesday. His departure comes on the heels of assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley being reassigned as a scout in the organization. Mueller came to the Cubs from the Dodgers where he had spent the past six years in the front office as an assistant to the GM. The 2003 American League batting champ as a Red Sox, he was also a former Cub.

Manny Ramirez is a possible candidate for the assistant job but he hasn’t given up his plans of returning to the majors as a player and is on the roster for Aguilas in the Dominican WInter League. According to Patrick Mooney of Comcast-Chicago, the Cubs are looking for a hitting coach with experience and not a first-year one so that would take Ramirez out of the running. Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago is reporting that Mueller was “torn” when he took the job and was comfortable with Brumley. After Brumley was dismissed, made Mueller’s decision easier.

Mueller’s only experience prior to the Cubs was a half-year with the Dodgers as their big league hitting coach in 2007. Rogers also reported the Cubs were close to naming a replacement. Whoever is named for 2015 will be the fourth hitting coach in four years following Mueller, James Rowson and Rudy Jaramillo.

Sahadev Sharma of Baseball Prospects tweeted Astros hitting coach John Mallee is the top candidate to replace Mueller. Mallee has been with the Astros for two seasons and was with the Marlins for eight years, working with current Cubs Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Tim Cossins (minor league coordinator) and Anthony Iapoce (minor league hitting instructor). Mallee attended the University of Illinois and was drafted by the Phillies in 1991 in the 12th round.

Mesa drops opener—AFL Recap

Addison Russell was the only starter for the Mesa Solar Sox on the opening day of the Arizona Fall League as he batter third and was the team’s DH. The 20-year-old’s two run single in the second gave the Solar Sox a 2-0 lead but Glendale came back for the 9-3 win. Russell finished 1-for-4 and Daniel Vogelbach entered the game in the sixth and struckout in his only plate appearance. Jacob Hannemann delivered a RBI sac fly in the 9th after coming into the game in the 7th to play left. Mesa was held to five hits in the opener and only one over the final five innings. The Solar Sox host Glendale on Wednesday and C.J. Edwards is scheduled to start on Thursday at Cubs Park vs. Salt River.

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