Chili Davis

What's going on with the Cubs coaching staff?

What's going on with the Cubs coaching staff?

CARLSBAD, Calif. — The National League Wild-Card Game was more than a month ago, Hot Stove is in full gear and yet the Cubs still haven't revealed what their coaching staff will look like in 2019.

All that's known for sure is Joe Maddon will be the manager, Chili Davis will not be the hitting coach (Anthony Iapoce will fill that role) and assistant hitting coach Andy Haines has taken a gig as the lead guy with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Beyond that, the Cubs won't comment on the reports that have permeated throughout the offseason that pitching coach Jim Hickey will not be back in the same capacity in 2019. 

Instead, the Cubs front office has offered a steady supply of various forms of "no comment."

"We're working through a lot of stuff," GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday at MLB's GM Meetings. "I won't comment on anyone in particular, but we have a number of people exploring different things and we're not at a place now where we can announce it."

When pressed again about the matter Wednesday, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said the organization is "not in a position to be able to formally announce the final coaching staff yet."

The timeline for when the Cubs can announce it is unclear, though Epstein promised it would be "relatively soon." 

If Hickey is, indeed, out as pitching coach, that will mean the Cubs will have a new pitching coach for the third straight season, with Chicago native Hickey filling the role in 2018 and Chris Bosio serving as the coach in 2017. 

The Cubs are already guaranteed three different hitting coaches in three years since they won the World Series, with John Mallee filling the role in 2017, Davis in 2018 and now Iapoce — a disciple of Mallee.  Since his firing, the Cubs have lauded Davis' ability as a hitting coach, but acknowledged he simply wasn't a good fit with the current club or roster.

And more shakeup may be coming down the line, as 2019 is the final year Maddon is under contract and the two sides won't be negotiating an extension at all this winter.

Report: Brewers hire Cubs assistant coach Andy Haines as hitting coach

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USA TODAY

Report: Brewers hire Cubs assistant coach Andy Haines as hitting coach

Another member of the Cubs' 2018 coaching staff is on the move. 

Saturday, Jon Heyman reported that the Brewers hired Cubs assistant hitting coach Andy Haines as their hitting coach for 2019.

Of course, Haines joins former hitting coach Chili Davis as members of Joe Maddon's 2018 staff that will not be back with the Cubs in 2019. However, it was reported Friday that bench coach Brandon Hyde will return to the Cubs in the same role next season. 

Last month, the Cubs named Anthony Iapoce as hitting coach, replacing Davis. The Brewers have not officially announced the hiring of Haines, though the Cubs will have to replace Haines if/when Milwaukee announces the move.

Haines, 41, joined the Cubs organization in 2016 and spent two seasons as the team's minor league hitting coordinator. The organization promoted him to assistant hitting coach in 2018 under Davis; Haines replaced Eric Hinske after the Angels named the latter as their hitting coach for 2018.

Ironically, Hinske will not be back with the Angels in 2019; the Angels hired former White Sox prospect Jeremy Reed to replace Hinske. Haines will replace Darnell Coles, who resigned as the Brewers' hitting coach and joined the Diamondbacks in the same role.

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Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: In light of recent hitting coach turmoil, who’s to blame for Cubs offensive struggles?

On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and what Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.

 

Listen to the entire podcast here, or in the embedded player below: