ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Chicago Cubs hitting consultant Manny Ramirez is no stranger to dangerous lineups. He was part of several of them in both Cleveland and Boston, where home runs weren’t just the way to score. He’s starting to see a resemblance in Chicago.
“Like we said last year, sky is the limit,” Ramirez said before Tuesday’s win over the Angels. “We saw what they could do a little bit last year. I think this year is going to be way better than last year. They have an unbelievable offense.”
Ramirez has been a useful tool for Cubs hitters, especially the Latin players who revere his acumen. He rejoined the team after spring training and immediately Jorge Soler had one of his better games, driving in a run with a hit and walking before scoring on a home run in Monday’s win over the Angels.
“Soler is staying more inside the ball,” Ramirez quickly analyzed.
Ramirez will suggest things to hitting coach John Mallee, but mostly he’s there to lend an ear to the hitters. What he sees in Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the other hitters is the same thing he saw in Boston: Patience combined with power. It began last year and it’s taking hold on the young Cubs at the start of 2016. Ramirez sees something special -- as everyone associated with the team does. He simply likes being part of it all.
“The offense is awesome and the pitching is great,” Ramirez said with a smile. “You saw how the city reacted. This is the place to be.”