Mueller Mulling Over Batting Coach Job

The Dodgers don't seem to be in any hurry to make a decision on a permanent batting coach. Bill Mueller has held the job on temporary assignment and the team is busy evaluating him in that capacity. At the same time, Bill's deciding whether he likes the role well enough to make it his career.

Mueller's a novice at the job for he was an active player until his balky knees betrayed him for the last time in 2006 forcing his retirement. And while the team has liked what they've seen of him in his new role, it is, after all, on the job training. And will that suffice?

If it's experience they want- and they may very well ultimately decide it is, then they have more than enough of that down in the minors where three instructors are absolutely senior citizens when it comes to working with hitters. Bill Robinson, Mike Easler and Gene Clines all have been there and done that- on the big league level.

Robinson, who's in his second year as the organization's hitting coordinator, has been a batting coach with two big league teams- the Mets and the Marlins- and both of those had world championships during his reign. He was with the Mets from 1984-89 and they won it all in 1986. He also served in the same capacity for the Marlins for four years including their World Series win in 2003.

Bill put in 16 years as a major league outfielder and also was a minor league hitting instructor for the Yankees and Phils so he has quite a resume.

So, too, does Mike Easler who's currently batting coach for Las Vegas. Mike, who joined the organization last year as coach with Jacksonville, served as the batting coach for the Brewers in 1992, the Red Sox in 1993 and 94 and the Cardinals from 1999 through 2001. Known as "The Hit Man" during his playing days, mostly with the Pirates, he put in 14 years as an outfielder in the majors.

There's also Gene Clines, who's in his first year as the organization's outfield and baserunning coordinator. He was hitting coach with Houston (1988), Seattle (1989-1992), Milwaukee (1994-95) and San Francisco (1997-2002). He then was the first base coach for the Cubs in 2003-04 and their hitting coach in 2005.

Of that trio, it would seem that Robinson and Easler are the leading candidates for the job- if Ned Colletti and Grady Little decide it's in everybody's best interest not to make Mueller full-time or if he, in turn, decides it's not the right fit for him.

If they ultimately want somebody who knows what the job's all about, they have the men at hand who could take over.