The Cubs this morning fired hitting coach Gerald Perry and promoted Von Joshua from their Class AAA Iowa farm club to take Perry's place.
General manager Jim Hendry flew home early this morning from the College World Series in Omaha to make the announcement.
"Obviously, we've been struggling for a long time," Hendry said. "I'm not one to dump all the blame on coaches. I don't believe I've made a coaching change, to my knowledge, in the middle of the year. But I think sometimes you need a different voice. Von's had a lot of success with a lot of our guys on the way up. We're really, really struggled offensively for reasons beyond Aramis (third baseman Ramirez) being gone for a while.
"Every day, we have five guys in the lineup who have played in the All Star Game. For whatever reason, we're just not performing anywhere close to the level that they all have performed throughout their careers. Sometimes you have to try something different."
Perry had been the hitting coach since 2007, coming in with manager Lou Piniella.
The Cubs rank 13th in the National League in batting average, 14th in runs, 12th in on-base percentage, 10th in slugging percentage and 10th in walks. Last season, they were at or near the top in all the key offensive categories.
Joshua, a former big-league outfielder, is in his fourth year at Iowa. He previously was the White Sox' hitting coach. He'll be in uniform Tuesday night when the Cubs play the White Sox at Wrigley Field.