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Cubs hire Deer as assistant hitting coach

The Chicago Cubs hired former major league slugger Rob Deer as assistant hitting coach.

Deer will work with the Cubs' current batting instructor James Rowson, who replaced Rudy Jaramillo in June.

Deer, 52, has been out of baseball the past four years. His last job was as a minor league hitting coach for the San Diego Padres. He was a teammate of Cub manager Dale Sveum from 1987-90 with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Deer has the dubious honor of having the lowest single-season batting average in history for any major league batter who qualified for the batting race (.179 in 1991 with the Detroit Tigers). Deer hit 230 home runs and drove in 600 runs while batting .220 during an 11-year career.

Sveum, Rowson, Deer and the club's new third base coach David Bell worked out with outfielder Brett Jackson and second baseman Darwin Barney at the Cubs' Mesa, Ariz., minor league complex on Monday.

Jackson and Barney are in Arizona for a week of hitting and conditioning.