Cubs unveil minor-league coaching staffs among organizational moves


Cubs unveil minor-league coaching staffs among organizational moves

The Cubs announced their 2019 minor-league coaching staffs among a host of other moves Wednesday.

Marty Pevey (Triple-A Iowa) and Mark Johnson (Double-A Tennessee) return as managers of the Cubs' top two teams in the farm system. There was a swap at the lower levels where Buddy Bailey is now at the helm of Single-A South Bend after three years with Myrtle Beach while Jimmy Gonzalez takes over in Myrtle Beach after four years with Single-A South Bend. Steven Lerud is still the manager for short-season Class-A Eugene.

Pevey's staff retained its pitching coach (Rod Nichols) and hitting coach (Desi Wilson) while adding a new hitting coach in Keoni De Renne. Johnson will once again work with pitching coach Terry Clark but has a new hitting coach in Chad Allen. 

Gonzalez brought Brian Lawrence (pitching coach) and Ricardo Medina (hitting coach) with him from South Bend to Myrtle Beach. Jamie Vermilyea will serve as Bailey's pitching coach and Paul McAnulty retains his spot as hitting coach with South Bend.

The Cubs also officially filled Tommy Hottovy's position as run prevention coordinator by hiring Brad Mills, a 33-year-old who made 21 appearances (14 starts) in the big leagues for the Blue Jays, Angels and A's from 2009-15. Nate Halm will still serve as the run production coordinator.

Among a bunch of moves on the minor league coordinator front, Jeremy Farrell was promoted to Cubs' minor league field coordinator after serving as the organization's infield coordinator last year and minor-league hitting coach in 2016-17. Farrell is the brother of former Cubs pitcher Luke (who threw 31.1 innings for the team in 2018) and son of former Red Sox manager John Farrell. His brother, Shane, also works as a regional supervisor in the Cubs amateur scouting department.

Brendan Sagara will retain his role as the minor league pitching coordinator while Chris Valaika was promoted to the team's minor-league hitting coordinator. Valaika played with the Cubs in 2014, appearing in 44 games for the rebuilding team. He was also teammates with a slew of current Cubs players - including Javy Baez and Kris Bryant - with Triple-A Iowa in 2014-15.

Josh Lifrak returns as the director of the organization's mental skills program and John Baker will return for his fourth season as a mental skills coordinator under Lifrak.

Here are the rest of the Cubs minor league coordinators:

Jonthan Mota - infield
Doug Dascenzo - outfield/baserunning
Dave Keller - Latin America field coordinator
Mike Mason - assistant pitching
Carlos Chantres - assistant pitching
Tom Beyers - assistant hitting
Chuck Baugman - head athletic training 
Doug Jarrow - strength/conditioning 
Jon Fierro - rehab 
Ron Villone - rehab (pitching)
Daivd Da Silva - mental skills
Ray Fuentes - mental skills

Cubs Talk Podcast: David Bote’s wild ride and a huge test for Cubs pitchers


Cubs Talk Podcast: David Bote’s wild ride and a huge test for Cubs pitchers

Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ series win over the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, which capped off with yet another David Bote walk-off and a surprising performance from Tyler Chatwood. They also break down where this Cubs team is at as they get set to welcome the high-powered Dodgers offense into Chicago later in the week.

:30 – The Kelly Effect

1:00 – David Bote’s wild ride

2:00 – El Mago’s magic pays off for Cubs yet again

3:30 – Bote’s adjustments

6:40 – Chatwood’s big day

8:50 – What’s next for Chatwood?

10:10 – Lester’s return is right around the corner

11:30 – Cubs pitching firing on all cylinders

12:00 – Did Kap jinx Strop?

13:30 – Dodgers pose a big challenge for Cubs pitching staff

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Add another chapter to David Bote's incredible story

Add another chapter to David Bote's incredible story

David Bote had to be feeling like the luckiest guy on Earth.

The Cubs were humming along in their quickest game of the season and two outs away from a 1-0 victory on a picture-perfect Easter Sunday at Wrigley Field. That was good news for him, because he had a flight to catch — doctors were inducing his wife, Rachel, and she was going to be giving birth to their third child that night.

Then Bote watched as Arizona's light-hitting outfielder Jarrod Dyson — he of 16 homers in 744 career games coming into the afternoon — sent a Pedro Strop pitch into the right-field bleachers in the top of the ninth inning to extend the game.

So Bote took things into his own hands.

Javy Baez led off the Cubs' half of the ninth with a double down the right field line, advanced to third on an error and then Willson Contreras was plunked by Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley.

Up stepped Bote, who watched a curve for Ball 1 and then narrowly got out of the way of a 95 mph fastball ticketed for his left temple. Bradley came back with a curve for a strike and Bote knew what to look for, waiting on another curveball and hammering it through the drawn-in infield for the Cubs' 10th win of the season. 

Minutes later, Bote had bolted out of Wrigley Field, heading back home to Colorado for the birth of Baby No. 3.

Speaking of which, Bote's walk-off hit Sunday came exactly 36 weeks (a little over eight months) after his ultimate grand slam to beat the Washington Nationals...

"It's a grand slam baby and now it's another walk-off for him," teammate Anthony Rizzo joked.

This is just the latest chapter in the incredible story of Bote, an 18th-round draft pick who endured seven seasons in the minor leagues before being called up to the majors. He doesn't even have a full year of service time in "The Show" yet, but he's already proven he belongs and carved out a permanent spot on the roster before signing a 5-year, $15 million extension earlier this month.

"From the homer last year, there was a lot of pressure and he slowed everything down," Baez said. "He just keeps getting better and he knows he's got talent and he can do it. He's got a lot of confidence coming off the bench and he's been huge for this team."

This was Bote's 42nd career RBI and it was already his 4th walk-off RBI. That means nearly 10 percent of his career RBI have come via walk-off situation.

"It's nice. He's had experience early [in those situations]," Rizzo said. "You can't teach that. He's had a lot of situations like that and he's come through. It's fun to watch."

This was only the 10th start of the season for Bote in the Cubs' 20th game, but he's found a way to stay sharp. 

After his 2-hit game Sunday, he's now slashing .295/.380/.455 on the season and showing off the adjustments he's made after hitting just .176 with a .559 OPS after that ultimate grand slam last year.

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