Manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call Thursday that “at some point, you want to send a new message” — and that’s exactly what the Cubs are doing now.
The Cubs have cleaned house and are already trying to put the pieces back together.
The Cubs fired hitting coach John Mallee and third base coach Gary Jones — replacing them with former Red Sox coaches Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield, respectively, the team announced Thursday.
Hours after those moves were made official, top pitching coach candidate Jim Hickey accepted the team’s offer to reunite with former Tampa Bay Rays manager Maddon and fill the staff vacancy left by Chris Bosio, who was fired Friday.
The club also announced that minor-league hitting coordinator Andy Haines had been promoted to replace assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske, who was hired by the Angels as their head hitting coach.
Mallee, a Chicago-area native who was credited with helping develop MVP candidate Jose Altuve, was hired away from the Astros after the 2014 season.“I left a great Houston Astros organization to be closer to home with my family and to help my hometown team win a World Series,” he said in a text. “We did that.“I have no regrets. I stand by my work. I wish nothing but the best for the Cubs organization and all the amazing people I met along the way, especially my hitters.”Maddon said he likes the Davis hire.
“Chili has the ability to really be heard,” Maddon said. “I like his methods I like how he does it how he says it. I like his technicality during the games. he has a great message and he’s great at sending that message.”
Davis has been a MLB hitting coach for six seasons, spending three with the Oakland Athletics and three with the Boston Red Sox. Davis is a credited with fixing the Red Sox hitting situation. During his three years, the Red Sox have led the majors in runs (2,411) and pitches per plate appearances (3.95), tied for first in on-base percentage (.334), ranked second in batting average (.268) and plate appearances per strikeout (5.35).
Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez is also in hot pursuit for his first manager position with the Nationals and interviewed with the team earlier this week.
Maddon said that the coaching staff shakeup was all about “availability” and who is on the market.
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