Cubs continue coaching carousel with more sweeping changes

Cubs continue coaching carousel with more sweeping changes

The Cubs coaching staff will have a completely different look in 2018.

After well-respected pitching coach Chris Bosio was let go last weekend and assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske moved west to the Los Angeles Angels, the Cubs announced Thursday afternoon they also are parting ways with hitting coach John Mallee and third base coach Gary Jones.

In their place: Chili Davis (hitting coach), Andy Haines (assistant hitting coach) and Brian Butterfield (third base coach). 

The Cubs have not announced the rest of the coaching staff and have still not made a final decision regarding Jim Hickey, who interviewed for the pitching coach position earlier this week.

Less than a week ago, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said manager Joe Maddon will have every coach back that he wants to return. Before the Cubs were knocked out of the playoffs, Maddon himself said he expects all his coaches back and said Thursday on a conference call he and the Cubs weren't ready to make any final decisions on the coach staff at that time.

Davis has spent the last six seasons working as a hitting coach, first in Oakland from 2012-14 and then in Boston from 2015-17, where the Red Sox led all of baseball in runs and on-base percentage.

Davis turns 58 in January and played 19 years in the big leagues, posting a .360 on-base percentage and .811 OPS while finishing among Top 25 MVP finalists three times and earning three trips to the All-Star Game.

Maddon believes Davis will help the Cubs' young hitters develop more, particularly situationally, an area the Cubs struggled through all of 2017 and particularly in the postseason against the elite pitching of the Nationals and Dodgers.

Butterfield has spent 17 years as a third-base coach, most recently with the Red Sox from 2013 through the 2017 season. He also worked in the same capacity with the Toronto Blue Jays and was also a bench coach in Toronto for two seasons in addition to two years as a first-base coach with the New York Yankees.

Haines — an Eastern Illinois University product — was promoted from within the Cubs organization, where he's served as the minor-league hitting coordinator the last two seasons.

Mallee is a Chicago native who has been the Cubs hitting coach the last three seasons as the team has made it to three straight National League Championship Series and built a foundation of elite young position players. Hinske served as Mallee's assistant all three years, as well.

Jones has been the third-base coach since 2014.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Willson Contreras throws shade at Yu Darvish


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Willson Contreras throws shade at Yu Darvish

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Rich Campbell (Chicago Tribune) and Jay Cohen (Associated Press) join Kap on the panel. Willson Contreras says Yu Darvish lets up with two outs. Was the young catcher right to criticize the veteran pitcher? And what’s your level of concern with the big free agent hurler?

Plus Matt Forte and Devin Hester retire as members of the Bears. Is Devin Hester’s next stop in Canton? And will the franchise’s career passing leader get a day like this?

Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction


Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction

Addison Russell was briefly hospitalized Sunday night after suffering an allergic reaction, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Russell, 24, suffered an allergic reaction to something he ate in the Cubs' clubhouse after the team's 9-7 win over the Rockies. He stayed in Denver overnight and spent a couple of hours in a hospital for observation.

Despite the situation, Russell said he felt much better by the time he got back to the team hotel. He flew to Cleveland Monday and said that he felt normal, according to Wittenmyer.

Russell entered Sunday's game as a pinch hitter and finished the day 0-for-2 at the plate. He is hitting .219 for the season.

The Cubs open a two-game series against the Indians Tuesday. Russell said Monday that he thought he would be good to play Tuesday, but only time will tell if that is the case.