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Piniella would like coaching staff back
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff

The Brewers' Alcides Escobar is safe at home after a single by Braden Looper as Cubs catcher Geovany Soto can't come up with the throw in the second inning.


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Published: 9/17/2009 12:02 AM

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Cubs manager Lou Piniella and general manager Jim Hendry have said they have not discussed plans for 2010 yet.

But Piniella said Wednesday he'd like to see his coaching staff return. The Cubs fired hitting coach Gerald Perry in the middle of this season and replaced him with Von Joshua.

"I think they've done a nice job here, I really do," Piniella said. "I've got a very professional staff. I'm a good delegator. They handle their areas very well. I would be very happy to see them all come back.

"We haven't talked about it. We're going to have a little meeting about our team later on in the season, maybe in San Francisco, maybe the last week that we're here."

The Cubs have remained a middle-of-the-pack offensive team all year after leading the National League in several key categories last year.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who has been with the Cubs since 2002, has guided his staff to an ERA of 3.87 entering Wednesday. That was fifth in the NL.

Taguchi up: Outfielder Sam Fuld's strained right thumb may keep him out of action for another week, so the Cubs selected the contract of veteran So Taguchi from Class AAA Iowa.

The Iowa club is through for the season, and Taguchi was at his home in St. Louis on Tuesday night when he got the call. At first, he ignored it.

"(The call) was from Chicago, and I don't have any friends in Chicago," Taguchi said. " 'Maybe this is a wrong call,' and I just ignored it. After maybe two hours, my agent finally called me. He said, 'What are you doing?' I'm just sitting on the couch. I had no idea about this number.

" 'It's the Cubs? Why now?' "

Taguchi, 40, won World Series titles with the Cardinals and the Phillies.

Putting it on Z: Lou Piniella said he wants embattled pitcher Carlos Zambrano back next year, but he put it on Zambrano to get over the hump in his career.

"I like the young man personally," Piniella said. "He's certainly capable of pitching better than he has this year. He needs to stay healthy, and part of staying healthy is working as hard as possible toward that goal.

"I think he loses focus at times with that competitiveness on the mound."