Theo Epstein held his season ending press conference Tuesday afternoon. And the first line of business for the day was to announce Rick Renteria and a majority of his coaching staff will return for the 2015 season. The Cubs did not offer Mike Brumley the assistant hitting coach’s job, but would like for him to stay in the organization in a different role.
Unless changes are made that were not announced Tuesday, Renteria’s entire staff will return with the exception of Mike Brumley.
Rick Renteria and Chris Bosio are signed to multi-year contracts while Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Bill Mueller (hitting coach), Lester Strode (assistant pitching coach, bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching coach), Gary Jones (third base coach), Eric Hinske (first base coach) and Jose Castro (quality assurance coach) will be back for the 2015 season.
Theo Epstein left open the possibility of Manny Ramirez joining the Cubs coaching staff, maybe as the team’s assistant hitting coach. Ramirez has not decided whether he wants to continue his playing career or not and recently reported to his Winter ball team.
“Manny [Ramirez] has not decided to retire as a player yet,” Epstein said. “We have a really nice relationship with Manny. He did an outstanding job with the organization this year. He continues to stay in touch, depending on what he wants to do with his career.”
If Epstein thinks Manny Ramirez would be considered for the assistant hitting coach job, Epstein responded, “I think I will wait to answer that. I want to see whether he wants to continue playing or not before I answer that question.”
Theo Epstein addressed how he thought each coach performed his duties this season and talked about Rick Renteria’s first year as the Cubs skipper.
“Coaching staff, by in large, I thought did a really nice job this year,” Epstein said. “The coaching staff did a really nice job of establishing the culture that we were looking for here.”
“Just to kind of run through them. Brandon [Hyde], first year as a bench coach I think he did a great job of establishing a relationship with Ricky [Rick Renteria]. Bill Mueller, he did a very nice job with the hitters in his first year as a hitting coach. Our pitching infrastructure, you guys know how we feel about them. Boz [Chris Bosio], Borz [Mike Borzello] and Lester [Strode] all do a really nice job. Gary Jones was outstanding in the box at third base. And Eric Hinske brought a really fresh prospective to the coaching staff one year being removed as a player as first base coach.”
“Our players never quit. They fought to the end, I think, in part that is a credit to the coaching staff. Even after the adversity they faced in mid-season with the trade, they never quit. Ended up winning some big series from some playoff opponents late in the year. I think you have to give Ricky and the coaching staff some credit for that as well the player.”
“They came together as a staff this year and I think building off that foundation taking it to another level next year. And I think overall for the organization in 2015 we will be a little different than the previous three seasons,” Epstein explained. “I feel like we now have the talent to compete and any time you have enough talent to compete you want to set your sights high. As Anthony [Rizzo] said the other day, our goal will be to win the NL Central, so our coaching staff and Ricky, their job will be to continue to develop young players but also put the team in a position to win on a nightly basis, optimize our chances of winning every night so we can have a successful season competing and winning the NL Central.”
Theo Epstein was asked about Mike Brumley and if it was an organization decision or his decision not to return to the Cubs next season. Epstein said, “Organizational decision. We see his best fit in a different role. I think he is a tremendous baseball guy. He sees the game extraordinarily well. We have a different fit in mind for him. He is also a sought after guy with nice opportunities in other organizations. There will be a different assistant hitting coach next year. We hope Mike stays here. We wish him well.”
The Cubs are likely to have the same coaching structure next year and are expected to hire an assistant hitting coach.
As for what position the Cubs feel Mike Brumley would fit better within the organization, “Scouting, special assignment scouting,” Epstein said.