Cubs shake up coaching staff with wholesale changes
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon will have a new coaching staff next season following the team's elimination in the National League Championship Series.
After winning their first MLB World Series in 108 years last season, the Cubs again won the NL Central with a 92-70 record, but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the NLCS.
The Cubs will have four new coaches in 2018 after dismissing pitching coach Chris Bosio, hitting coach John Mallee and third base coach Gary Jones on Thursday. Assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske had previously left to join the Los Angeles Angels.
Former Boston Red Sox hitting coach and 19-year MLB player Chili Davis was announced as the replacement for Mallee. Brian Butterfield also left the Red Sox coaching staff to replace Jones as the third base coach. Andy Haines was promoted from minor league hitting instructor to assistant hitting coach.
"This is about the Cubs moving forward," Maddon said "We think these new coaches can help take us to another level and get us back to the World Series again. By no means am I denigrating the coaches who are leaving. I think all these guys are excellent, and you'll find out when they get a job in the near future. We just thought the guys coming in can add a skill set to us that we need.
"I think the three of these guys give us some different voices for next year."
The decision to not renew Bosio's contract was made over the weekend and the Cubs interviewed Jim Hickey, who was on Maddon's staff in Tampa Bay, on Monday.
Hickey and the Tampa Bay Rays parted ways after 11 seasons at the conclusion of the 2017 regular season.
"Moving along, and I hate to say, 'change in direction' — I don't like to use that phrase," Maddon said. "We just thought a different voice was important right now. It had nothing to do with Hickey [being available]."
The changes to the Cubs staff might not be over with bench coach Dave Martinez a candidate to replace Dusty Baker as the Washington Nationals manager.
"I'm really hoping Davey gets this job," Maddon said. "It's about time he's being considered so strongly. He's ready to do this. It's time for him to hold his own baby and go out there and have his voice be heard. Obviously, we're all pulling for Davey. It's the right time for him."