Cubs

Cubs name Brandon Hyde - not David Ross - new bench coach

brandon_hyde_cubs_bench_coach_slide.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs name Brandon Hyde - not David Ross - new bench coach

The Cubs coaching staff is nearly complete and no, David Ross does not currently have a role.

Brandon Hyde — not Grandpa Rossy — will take over as Cubs bench coach in 2018, moving from the first base coaching box to Joe Maddon's right-hand man:

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer confirmed the news on 670 The Score Thursday morning.

The Cubs did not want to lose Hyde to New York and he will take over the bench coach position for the second time in his Chicago tenure (he also served in the same role under Ricky Renteria in 2014).

This is the latest in a major shakeup on the Cubs coaching staff this winter. Five coaches have left Maddon's staff, with two — Davey Martinez and Eric Hinske — getting promotions as the Washington Nationals manager and Los Angeles Angels hitting coach, respectively.

The Cubs finished 2017 and a third straight trip to the NLCS with this coaching staff under Maddon:

Bench coach — Davey Martinez
Hitting coach — John Mallee
Assistant hitting coach — Eric Hinske
Pitching coach — Chris Bosio
First base coach — Brandon Hyde
Third base coach — Gary Jones

That coaching staff now looks completely different, just three weeks later:

Bench coach — Brandon Hyde
Hitting coach — Chili Davis
Assistant hitting coach — Andy Haines
Pitching coach — Jim Hickey
First base coach — TBA
Third base coach — Brian Butterfield

Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Henry Blanco (quality control coach), Chad Noble (bullpen catcher) and Mike Borzello (catching coach) are expected to remain in their roles as well as advanced scouting coordinators Nate Halm and Tommy Hottovy.

Ross is still currently a special assistant in the Cubs front office. It would've been hard to see him move to a demanding coaching role and miss so much time with his young family after an extremely busy first year of retirement.

The promotion of Hyde to a key role on the Cubs coaching staff will help maintain a sense of familiarity for the players amid a wild offseason shakeup. Hyde was already a part of the daily lineup workflow - letting players know who was starting and where they were hitting - and has been around since the early stages of the rebuild. He also served as a bench coach with the Florida Marlins for two years from 2010-11.

Ozzie Guillen says Kris Bryant is his favorite player to watch

4-19_kris_bryant_usat.jpg
USA TODAY

Ozzie Guillen says Kris Bryant is his favorite player to watch

Ozzie Guillen is a big Kris Bryant fan.

In fact, the former White Sox manager even went as far as saying the Cubs third baseman is his favorite player to watch right now.

"I love this guy, since the first day he was coming in," Guillen said Tuesday on Baseball Night in Chicago. "No matter how you look at it, besides a great player, he's a pro and that's more important.

"The way he goes about his business, the way he goes about his at-bats, everything is professional. He's just so good."

Even with Guillen being a White Sox guy at heart, you can't help but appreciate Bryant as a player and what he's accomplished already at the age of 26.

Bryant has won a World Series ring, an MVP award, and was Rookie of the Year. In four seasons, he has a .289/.391/.529 slash line with 96 homers and 282 RBIs.

Pretty solid accolades for a guy who still has his whole career ahead of him. So just how great could Bryant be?

"This kid has a chance to be one of the best players ever to wear that uniform if they let him," Guillen said.

A reminder that you can watch Baseball Night in Chicago every weeknight from Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. The new half-hour show will serve as the lead-in program for every 7:00 p.m. weeknight Cubs or White Sox game on NBC Sports Chicago this season. 

Cubs Talk Podcast: Does Javy Baez have an MVP in his future?

javy_baez.jpg
USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Does Javy Baez have an MVP in his future?

David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sit down and discuss Cubs star Javy Baez and his transformation from Puerto Rican HS star to MLB star and the trials and tribulations he has faced and still faces as one of baseball's flashiest players.

Take a listen here or in the embedded player below.