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Cubs hire Mark Loretta as bench coach to fill final staff vacancy

Any remaining hope by fans that David Ross might dance his way back to the Cubs as a bench coach was eliminated Wednesday with the announcement that the Cubs hired Mark Loretta to fill their final coaching staff vacancy.

Loretta, 47, spent the last nine seasons in the San Diego Padres’ front office after a 15-year big-league career that included two All-Star selections.

The Cubs also announced another high-profile hiring Wednesday, naming former Cubs pitcher and one-time All-Star Bob Tewksbury as mental skills coordinator, replacing sports psychology pioneer Ken Ravizza, who died in July after suffering a heart attack.

Loretta, a former infielder and Northwestern alum, joins a staff that also includes newcomers in pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, assistant hitting coach Terrmel Sledge.

Mark Loretta was a two-time All-Star during a 15-year big-league career.

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The Cubs have their third coach in three seasons at all four spots on the staff.

The Cubs also had reached out to former clubhouse leaders Ross and Mark DeRosa for the bench coach vacancy.

Tewksbury

Like Ravizza, Tewksbury, 58, is considered a leader in his field in the sport, having earned an undergraduate degree in physical education and master’s of education in sports psychology and counseling after his retirement as a player. His most recent work during a 15-year career in mental skills in baseball came with the Giants the last two seasons.

He authored a book on the subject with writer Scott Miller that was published last year: “Ninety Percent Mental: An All-Star Player Turned Mental Skills Coach Reveals the Hidden Game of Baseball.”