With Joe Maddon in the fold, the coaching staff is a top priority for the Cubs’ new skipper and front office. The coaching staff was in place before Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer decided to switch gears and replace Rick Renteria with Joe Maddon.
Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Lester Strode (assistant pitching coach), Mike Borzello (catchers coach), John Mallee (hitting coach), Eric Hinske (assistant hitting coach), Gary Jones (third base coach), Doug Dascenzo (first base coach) and Jose Castro (quality assurance coach) comprised the 2015 coaching staff.
Jose Castro has since left the team to be Atlanta’s assistant hitting coach, and reportedly Gary Jones decided to leave the Cubs as well with Renteria no longer in the dugout. An official announcement on Jones’ status has not been made.
A couple of changes are expected to the coaching staff, but a majority of it should remain intact, especially the pitching infrastructure. The Twins are believed to be interested in Chris Bosio, but he is under contract for one or two more seasons and it is unlikely the front office would give him permission to speak with another team.
Chris Bosio attended Joe Maddon’s introductory press conference Monday at The Cubby Bear.
During an interview Thursday on MLB Network Radio with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette (Power Alley), Jed Hoyer was asked about the coaching staff. While he said he did not want to speculate right now, he does not see major changes being made.
“I think the coaching staff will look very similar to the way it looks right now,” Hoyer said. “We’ve had a couple of conversations and will continue to have conversations with Joe about it. Ultimately those are people he works with on a daily basis, you have to feel comfortable. I think we have a really good coaching staff. We made some good additions this off-season. I think they are people that can support him really well. I’m not sure whether or not there will be some changes, but I think it will largely look the same.”
Joe Maddon indicated Thursday that he is in the process of talking to the coaches and is focused on nailing down his staff. Maddon did not come in with the thought of overhauling the coaching staff.
“We are discussing all of that, again I know Bosio from managing against him in Double-A when he was in El Paso and I was in Midland,” Maddon said on 670 The Score. “I know Lester Strode from years in the Instructional League. You have to understand I really cut my teeth in Arizona with Instruction Leagues and Spring Trainings with the Angels for so many years. Lester was always around at that time. The other guys, I know Hinske. Of course Eric played for us with the Rays in 2008. Wonderful guy, great teammate, I am looking forward to working with him again. The other guys I’m just trying to get to know.”
“I’ve been in touch with Brandon Hyde, text wise. I need to talk to everybody. We are just going through the whole process right now. There is nothing to report, yes or no, just trying to get to know one another.”
Maddon was asked about the possibility of Dave Martinez leaving Tampa and returning to Chicago, this time as a member of Maddon’s staff, during an interview on the Waddle and Silvy Show (ESPN 1000).
“Dave is outstanding, but right now what I am doing is working through our coaching staff that’s already in place. You have to understand I have been on the lam for about the last three weeks just trying to piece this thing together,” Maddon said.
“Now I have to get to calling all of the present coaches and try and get aligned with these guys and get a feel for them. I have already talked to Theo and Jed about all of this stuff. Right now we are just trying to figure out what’s the right thing for the Cubs now and in the future. I need to talk to these coaches and get some closure.”
“I really do rely on my coaching staff a lot. I’m into empowering the group. I’m into permitting them to do their jobs and stay out of their way. In order to do this you have to have people you think are really qualified and can handle all of it.”
John Mallee and Doug Dascenzo were just hired and according to the Tribune, both coaches do not appear to be in risk of losing their jobs.
The Cubs have at least two spots to fill on his coaching staff and there has been speculation that Maddon could bring in a bench coach to replace Brandon Hyde. If that is the route Maddon takes, Hyde could be move back to the front office and stay in the organization.