Cubs announce coaching staff

Cubs announce coaching staff
Bill Mueller

The wait is finally over.  The Cubs have announced their coaching staff and while there aren't any real marquee names, there was some interesting movement.  There's not a big overhaul here but the Cubs did make some significant changes in areas of  player development at both the major and minor league levels.

Here is your staff,,,

Bench Coach: Brandon Hyde;  Hyde worked last year as the Cubs Director of Player Development.

Hitting coach:  Bill Mueller:  Mueller has been a hitting coach, scout, and worked in the front office as a special assistant to the GM in Los Angeles.

Asst. Hitting coach: Mike Brumley.  In 2009, Brumley oversaw all minor league instruction in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, overseeing all aspects of instruction in the Dodgers' minor league system.

Pitching Coach: Chris Bosio

3B Coach: Gary Jones.  Jones will also serve as the infield coach.  Jones adds yet another coach with instructional experience.  He was a former Padres oving minor league instructor

Quality Assurance Coach: Jose Castro, who was a minor-league hitting coordinator or hitting coach for 25 years for five different teams.

Lester Strode also returns in his bullpen coach role while Mike Borzello (catching and strategy) and Franklin Font (staff assistant)  return as well.

If you don't think the Cubs were interested in A.J. Hinch in the sense that they wanted a player development guy on the bench, then Brandon Hyde moving there from a similar role should make that clear.  I think it's a great move to have a great instructional guy (Hyde) and a great on the field teacher (Rick Renteria) as the top two positons in the dugout with all the Cubs young players coming up.  That's hands on development.

Director of Amateur Scouting Jaron Madison assumes Brandon Hyde's role for now as far as player development while highly respected  national/regional crosschecker Matt Dorey  has been named director of amateur scouting.

The Cubs will name a 1B coach later.

Other than Hyde, the other interesting hire is Bill Mueller and his assistant Mike Brumley, both of those names were initially reported by Bruce Levine.  Kudos to him.

Mueller is a former Cub and Red Sox who once one a batting title and owns an 11.1% walk rate  and a .373 OBP for his career -- two statistics the Cubs would like to improve.

That makes 3 bilingual members on the staff (Renteria, Font, Casttro, with one spot yet still open)..and how cool and advanced is it that the Cubs now have a QA coach?

 

 

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  • I am intrigued by the Hyde move...former minor league manager and IF coordinator with the Marlins. Between him and Jones, Cubs focus is clearly on improving the IF over the next couple of seasons.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Also Head of Player Development, so if someone knows these kids and know something about development is Brandon Hyde.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    The Hyde selection is very interesting.

  • Love Brandon Hyde moving to Bench Coach... Talk about focus on player development... I like Bill Mueller as well... Good to see Bosio and Borzello return to their old positions.

    My question is... What is a quality assurance coach? Is Jose Castro there to translate and make sure that the Latin American players get the message?

  • In reply to Caps:

    Quality assurance coach mainly has to do with game preparation, i.e. preparing the statistical analysis of upcoming opponents : charting opponents, preparing scouting reports on opposing players etc.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Awesome, thank you... Never heard of the position before, but it makes sense to have a coach for that.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    QA coach must be a brand new position for the Cubs since Theo took over. I always wondered why the Cubs never seemed to be as well prepared as their competition.....why they couldn't seem to take advantage of the elements inside their own ballpark. Wind blowing in, Cubs hitting fly ball outs while the opposition was hitting line drives.....wind blowing out, Cubs hitting balls on the ground.

  • I can't find any record of Hyde playing in the minors much less the show. I'll give him a little break since he's a Long Beach State guy but as of right now I'm calling that a terrible choice. Bringing in a guy with no playing experience as a pro to be #2 man in the dugout is a really risky move. Especially over a guy like Mariano Duncan or another former ML vet who's paying his dues in the minors. Also not seeing a whole lot of potential Spanish speakers in there even though I could be wrong about that. I don't care who's in the dugout as long as we're competing day in and day out. Not impressed by those names other than Billly Ballgame.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Hyde played in the White Sox org and had some independent league time. He's got a background of working with infielders and he'll be a familiar face when the prospects start coming through. Plus he's a perfect bridge between the coaching staff and the FO...no more communication issues.

    I think the organization likes the job Duncan is doing in the minors and didn't want to disrupt that yet. It does kind of suck that he couldn't get promoted because he's doing too good of a job at his current position.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Man, I looked at bbref and fangraphs and didn't see the minor league record...I looked and looked again and only found managerial records.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    When the bulk of a guys career is coaching/managing, bbref defaults to that page. You have to click on "minor league record" I have to admit, it took me a couple tries in the past before I figured it out too.
    Hyde spent four years in the White Sux farm system and 1 year in independent ball. He had a career .372 OBP and played catcher and first base.

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    off topic, mike - related to Mari Partipilo?

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    In reply to SKMD:

    SKMD, probably somewhere down the ancestral line, but not closely related as far as I know.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Good call, Mike.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=hyde--001bra

    That's his record as a minor league player and minor league manager...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Hyde

    And that's his coaching career...

    I just completely disagree with you in that his playing career dictates what kind of coach he is or will be...

    Brandon Hyde was a minor league manager and hitting coach for about 5 years with the Marlins, then Infield Coordinator at the MLB level, then he was MLB bench coach... Then he was the Cubs Head of Player Development, if I'm not mistaken and now back to Bench Coach, a job he's done before... Did you see how Javier Baez and Alcantara and others improved? Yeah, Brandon Hyde was there with them and knows them well... That resume is better than a .280 BA when it comes to assembling a coaching staff, IMO.

    And he's got that resume and turned just 40 about a month and a half ago.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Thanks for the link. Now I feel really stupid as well as much better. I should have scrolled down the page on bbref a little bit before hastily commenting.

    I respect your opinion on that, Caps. I think it does make a difference at the major league level though. It has nothing to do with the coach (Hyde in this case) being able to instruct. In other words, being a non-major leaguer doesn't preclude a guy from being able to teach. It does, however make a difference in the way the tutelage is received by big leaguers who are already there and don't know you.

    Clearly Brandon Hyde has impressed somebody and has a nice resume as an instructor. I would not have deemed it a Terrible choice if I had found his playing career. I hope he blossoms into a great coach for us. That being said, generally guys with no big league time aren't as well received in the dugout as guys with time. That's just the way it is. If you know any major leaguers, call them and ask them what they think about it.

    I absolutely saw the steps forward that were taken by guys he taught this season. Its one thing in the minors when everyone will listen because they all have the same goal. Its different in a dugout full of grown men who are mostly millionaires and are better players than you (the coach) ever were.

    Again, I threw the 'Generally' in there as a qualifier. But its fairly rare for a guy to ascend to that coaching level without the benefit of major league time. Hope he does a great job with the young team.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I get your point and it is very valid... Playing pro baseball should not be the sole determining factor, but should be a plus... You want guys that have been around in the MLB... That said, Hyde has some of that as well, just more as a coach than a player.

    I also don't think you were stupid at any point, maybe a little hasty, but I understood your concern, I also respect your opinion, it is why went through the trouble of researching and showing you the links, as it stands, you realized you just needed to scroll down.

    And there's nothing wrong with skepticism, good luck to the whole coaching staff.

    Thank you for the pleasant exchange.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Right on. Thank you for the pleasant exchange, Caps. I always try and do research before I go spouting off at the mouth so I'm embarrassed that I missed that!

  • In reply to Caps:

    Well - as one example of somebody who acheived a high level of managerial success, with almost no MLB experience,.... Tony LaRussa,.....

    Yes - he did have a bit of experience getting a couple cups of coffee with a couple of teams,..... but man not a lot.

  • In reply to Caps:

    The issues I had with Deer wasn't that he was unsuccessful as a player, it was because there was nothing in his coaching background that said he was a great hitting instructor. So you either want the guy to have a foundation of success as a player (i.e. a Tony Gwynn) or a foundation of success as a hitting coach (i.e., Rudy Jaramillo). When Dale hired his friend who's only qualifing skillset was their friendship, it makes your eyes roll.... unless you call a .220 career avg and lead the league in strikeouts 4 times in his 11yr career assets. The only other qualifying skill was he designed the Viz U Bat (whoopty frickin doo).
    http://viz-u-battingsystems.com/Viz-U-Bat.html

    I can't even tell you what Jaramillo's, Mariano Duncans, or Buckners numbers look like. Nor does it matter because they have a history of developing hitters.

    That hire by Dale stunk of "homerism". No way I buy he was the best available talent....

  • I wonder if the Dbacks will throw in McKay when we trade Shark for Skaggs...

    Maybe Dave Duncan too...

  • Any other Spanish speakers?

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I would guess Rick Renteria and Jose Castro both speak Spanish.

  • In reply to John57:

    Yeah, I knew Rick. I forgot about Jose Castro -- whoops.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Jose Castro is of Cuban descent which should be a plus for connecting with players like Jorge Soler & Almora, while Renteria is of Mexican descent. So they have the full range of the Latin spectrum ;-)

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    Hopefully there can be a more unified message especially as it pertains to coaching hitting.

    It really seemed like Castro and even Rizzo were getting pulled in tree or four different directions as to what they should be doing.

  • It's nice to see that we have a former batting champion as a hitting coach. Hopefully, that translates back to the players. After all, Castro's stats last year were eerily similar to Sveum's career averages.

  • John, I don't see all the Spanish speaking coaches that the FO were talking about.

  • In reply to CHAME:

    Renteria is one. Jose Castro is another. I'll bet we see a bilingual 1B coach whenever he's named. That would be 3 on the staff, which is about what they said would happen.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Font is bilingual as well...

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    Yes, Venezuelan born.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John... I'm wondering if Mueller or Brumley, despite being Americans can speak Spanish... The hitting coach was the key acquisition as we have discussed here and Theo said himself... Many American players learn Spanish as they play with the vast population of Latin American players in the MLB.

    I would think the FO wanted to make sure that the Latin American players have no problems communicating with the Latin American players... Or they can always use Renteria or Castro to help with any translation needed or message delivered.

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    So much for the Spanish speaking focus that we were speaking about with regards to candidates like Cora.

  • In reply to Stomper90:

    Renteria as manager is a big one. Jose Castro can communicate a lot about game preparation with Starlin Castro.

    Franklin Font was born in Venezuela. So that's 3. Could be one more with 1b coach

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    Off topic, but am I the only one who gets the feeling the Cardinals just pulled off a fleecing of the Angels?

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Depends if Freese returns to 2011 form or is in decline . Biggest thing it does is keep Taveras in AAA , OR makes a trade for a SS possible. I am really getting the Taveras/ Miller / Adams for Tulo feeling really heavy after this deal .

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    In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Does it? I would think Bourjos replaces Jay in CF and Taveras would likely take over for Beltran in right.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    I don't know if it's a fleecing, but I think they got the better of the deal. But I think Bourjos is overrated. Then againk so is Freese.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I know, on paper, it doesn't look like a "fleecing" now. I just get that sick feeling that the Cards made a Cards move here and; Freese is going where bats go to die, Bourjos's offense is finally going to come together, and then this Grichuck kid will outplay his ceiling and be an above-average starter.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Remember the last cf the Cards got from the Angel's, Jim Edmonds, gulp!

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Nope. Younger, better player and a nice prospect on top of it. That's pretty sick.

  • The whole speaking spanish thing is the most overblown story of the year. Do people really think Castro struggled because Sveum didn't speak spanish? Most of our top prospects speak english anyway.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    A lack of leadership combined with some issues with language nuance played a factor. I'm bilingual and I've heard Castro say things that were misinterpreted in the media. I'm sure he misinterpreted info coming his way as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Did he misinterpret don't swing at bad pitches to swing at bad pitches? I mean this isn't rocket science, its baseball. Did he speak better english 3 years ago when he was batting .320? The language barrier sure didn't seem to effect Wellington Castillo. People are just grasping for excuses for Castro because they don't want to admit he was just bad last year. The league adjusted to him and so far he hasn't adjusted to it.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I don't think the message they conveyed was that vague. And if it were, that in itself would be poor communication.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    And why couldn't it also just be that they'd like the manager to be able to talk to his players without a translator?

    Words tend to mean a little more straight from the source and this simplifies things.

    And I don't think Castro is the only player this was aimed at.

  • Interesting that over time, a coaching staff will have two hitting coaches, but only one pitching coach. Both have nearly equal numbers of players to coach. Or does the bullpen coach serve as an assistant to the pitching coach?

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    Interesting question. And it's fair to say that pitching out of the bullpen take a different approach, smaller repertoire, and different mentality than starting.

  • In reply to SkitSketchJeff:

    The BP coach is mostly just there to go over scouting reports and approaches with the relievers. The pitching coach is the one focused on mechanics, grips, etc...

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    I have a feeling this will be the best coaching staff we've had in years. There's a little bit of everything in there with a focus on player development. Would be magical if we still had Mckay at 1B

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Was thinking the same....

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think Hank White would have attributes that would make him a good 1B coach.

    A former catcher can be a real asset for runners at first.

    He speaks español too! Guess the Cubs needs a lot of those.

  • Meuller should be an upgrade over the previous hitting coachs (I never understood why Deer was a good choice) - but mostly I am glad that Bosiso is staying on.

  • Will someone on staff be in charge of working with the Outfielders?
    Seems like we could really use someone like McKay to help Lake reach his full potential. I'm sure Renteria will help everyone in that regard, but I'm skeptical if Lake doesn't have a good specific coach.

  • In reply to MrBillySir:

    I wonder if the still to be named 1st base coach will also be named the Outfielders coach as 3rd base coach Gary Jones will also serve as the infield coach.

  • I'm really glad to see Bill Mueller signed as the hitting coach. He was a guy I wanted at the plate when a run scoring opportunity presented itself. Cubs have lacked situational hitting abilities for a long, long time.

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    Rob Deer: .220 /.324 /.442 BB/SO 575 /1409
    Bill Mueller: .291 /.373 /.425 BB/SO 543 /571

    what were they thinking before?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Yeah, I never really bought that whole do as I say not as I did hitting coach, since so much of it is reliant on mentality and approach. Different for pitching coaches, as it's more reliant on stuff.

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    Speaking of a bilingual staff, did Lou Piniella stutter in Spanish too, or just English? (Serious question - I'm curious)

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    1st base coaching job is open. Konerko's carreer is about where DeRosa's was a few weeks ago - he may want to play, but no one is going to give him what he feels he deserves, and even if they do he's only got another year left in him. He's got a good baseball mind - Konerko as 1st base coach? I could see him working his way up the ladder either on the field or in someone's FO.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I would be willing to bet that some AL team in need of a DH picks up Konerko - but not at the rate I think he think he deserves - and as long as the Sox have Dunn - that DH spot is out.

    Wonder if he would be a potential target for Seattle or Maybe Cleveland? Part time 1B, mostly DH? I wouldn't wish Houston on the guy - otherwise he might not be a bad one for them,.... if he wants his career to go out on a whimper.

  • I am really liking the Bill Mueller hire for Hitting Coach. One thing I really remember about Mueller was his ability to choke up on the bat and take the ball the opposite way when the situation called for it (runners in scoring position in a close game) That great approach could be deadly if applied to hitters like Baez, Bryant, Soler who can generate base clearing doubles to open the floodgates.

  • Had to write this quickly but looking back on this staff, there is really a heavy influence on guys with development/instructional experience.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, do you think that the FO is planning to fast track our young studs with this strong development heavy staff?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I don't think so. I think they're just building a support system for them for whenever they are ready -- and it's not out of the question these guys will be needed by the end of this year. There are a few candidates, as we all know, but I think their first task may be to work with Castro, Castillo, Rizzo, Lake, Vitters, Jackson, Olt, and Watkins.

  • Quality assurance coach? Is that some kind of liaison between the FO and the manager and coaching staff?

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Ghost Dawg had a pretty good description,

    Quality assurance coach mainly has to do with game preparation, i.e. preparing the statistical analysis of upcoming opponents : charting opponents, preparing scouting reports on opposing players etc.

    Castro is also a de facto 3rd hitting coach, he's coached/instructed hitters for 25 years.

  • I think an organizational chart needs to be created.

    I never heard of a quality assurance coach.
    Did this position go by a different name in the past or did they just remove certain responsibility from other coaches and create this position?

  • Now that the Bulls are out of it, this site is my only entertainment until April.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I saw that Rose got hurt again. Wow. Looked like the Bulls had a star on their hands but can't stay healthy. Cubs fans should know all about that.

  • An OBP hitting coach - just what the doctor ordered.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    That's a pretty impressive career OBP, hopefully he can pass that on.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How does a team go from Rob Deer to Bill Mueller working with their hitters?

  • Two very different hitters to say the least. One thing in common is they both had patience. And maybe Deer should get some credit for improving the Cubs power, where they ranked highly last year across the board. Unfortunately it came at a cost of consistency at the plate.

  • Drew Stubbs? Think we should be able to grab him for a song before non-tender deadline. If you were interested in C. Young, I think he has to be intriguing. Has the athletic ability that Epstoyer tends to covet. Disclaimer: I remain firmly on board with the "plan" but these types of discussions are beginning to depress me. D Rose situation isn't helping either.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Drew Stubbs is one of the guys I listed too. Non-tender candidate.

    Making trades is still a possibility if you're hoping to see the Cubs make a more significant move. I think Tanaka is more possible than the Cubs are letting on.

    I'm not as much of a basketball fan as I once was, though I was a big fan of Derrick Rose. I really find no reason to watch the NBA at this point.

  • We've discussed it , ad nauseum, but Tanaka would be huge. In isolation, he's a huge pickup but , when you consider the flexibility it gives them, it could really be a game-changer for rebuild. Sandbagging their interest & hinting at fiancial constraints is , possibly, an elaborate game of possum. We'll see.... If they can create the impression that NYY only really has to worry about LAD, we might be able to pull it off, through the back door.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I like the way you think ;)

  • Dave Sappelt was just released (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/11/minor-moves-dave-sappelt.html) was he on the 40 man list?

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    In reply to CHAME:

    Not a shocker. I think he despised the organization.

  • In reply to CHAME:

    No.

  • Totally off-topic: Does anyone know where I could find avg. flyball distance stats?

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