Before Rick Renteria was tossed for the sixth time this season Friday night, Theo Epstein was asked if Rick Renteria would be back for his second season as Cubs manager in 2015. Epstein said Renteria would absolutely be back, but “there could be changes with the coaching staff.”
The front office is reportedly very happy with the atmosphere Renteria has created in the clubhouse, which was his number one objective when he was hired last November. Reports have suggested the front office has questioned some of his in-game decisions, especially his use of the bullpen, but the Cubs are willing to let him grow with the young roster he is helping to develop at the Major League level.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Theo Epstein said “by and large” the front office is happy with the coaching staff and he thinks they’ve “done a great job this year.”
Any changes that might be made to the coaching staff could be announced as soon as Tuesday.
Theo Epstein told the beat writers prior to Friday’s game that Mike Olt will work on playing the outfield moving forward. Epstein said that if Olt is not able to be an everyday player, he can be a valuable part of the Cubs bench, especially against left handed pitchers.
Theo Epstein reiterated a plan for Olt that he has mentioned several times this season. The Cubs would like to see Olt work on his defense in the outfield so he can provide depth for the team at all four corner spots … first base, third base, right and left field.
The Cubs feel Mike Olt is athletic enough to play a corner spot in the outfield. He’s already shown he can play both first and third base.
Update – 10:08pm CDT – Full Report from ESPN Chicago
Theo Epstein and Rick Renteria addressed Javier Baez’s first two months in the big leagues prior to Friday’s game in Milwaukee. Epstein told the beat writers that Javier Baez has played “very much as expected.” Renteria added that Baez’s confidence remains high.
Theo Epstein on Baez from ESPN Chicago, “He’s extraordinarily talented but very raw. He hasn’t quite learned a consistent approach where he swings at the pitches he wants to swing at, so he’s letting the pitcher dictate the course of the at-bat by not being selective enough. When you do that in the big leagues, it can get ugly in a hurry. It’s really important to recognize what he’s done defensively. He’s played an incredible shortstop. Beyond the tools, he’s shown a great baseball head on his shoulders. He’s won the respect of the veterans here. That’s big. That’s not to be taken for granted for a 21-year-old to do that.”
The Cubs have talked to Javier Baez about what he needs to work on this off-season. And the team feels he is capable and open to making the adjustments this winter.
News and Notes
With Friday’s win over the Brewers, the Cubs improved to 72-88 on the season, the most victories in a single season since the Cubs went 75-87 in 2010. As the Sun-Times pointed out, the Cubs have a chance to tie the Reds for fourth place in the NL Central and the third winning month of the season.
The Sun-Times also reported since the trade deadline the Cubs are 27-26 while the A’s are 21-32 … and since the trade, the Cubs are 34-42 and the A’s are 34-40.
Jorge Soler went 1-for-5 with two RBI on Friday night and is 26-for-81 in 22 games with eight doubles, a triple, five home runs and 20 RBI (.321/.360/.630) … and Carlos Gomez did not test his arm in the third inning.
According to a report from the Tribune, Don Mattingly likes the Cubs’ young talent and feels they’re a club on the move.
The Cubs are one of at least three teams that is using NeuroScouting, a neurological training program, in the minor leagues according to a report from the Wall-Street Journal.
This Day In Cubstory
2003 – The Cubs won the National League Central by sweeping a doubleheader from the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
2003 – Sammy Sosa hit his 40th homer of the season and established the NL record for the most consecutive seasons of 40 or more home runs. Sosa hit at least 40 longballs in six straight seasons.
1993 – In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs closer Randy Myers became the first National League reliever to record 50 saves in a season.
1987 – In his final plate appearance of the season at Wrigley Field, Andre Dawson cracked his 47th home run of the season in a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals. Dawson finished the year with 49 home runs and the National League MVP award. Dawson walked 37 times in 1987 with 103 strikeouts, one of only three seasons that ‘The Hawk’ struck out 100-plus times during his Hall of Fame career.
1967 – Ferguson Jenkins beat the Reds 4-1 at Crosley Field for his 20th win of the season. It was the first of six, 20-win seasons for the future Hall of Famer.
1935 – Cubs clinched the National League Pennant with their 21st win in a row. The Cubs swept a doubleheader from the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park.
1930 – Hack Wilson hit home runs No. 55 and No. 56 and set the National League record for homers in a single season (56). Wilson’s record would stand until 1998. Gabby Harnett homered and Pat Malone won his 20th game in a 13-8 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field.