Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer recently said that we could be hearing about the team’s coaching staff in the next week or so, and the announcement would come in one fell swoop. But word is trickling out on a few of the names the Cubs are considering.
We heard about the Cubs targeting Bill Mueller as their next hitting coach yesterday (and it was further confirmed by CSN, so you can pretty much book it that the Cubs have selected Mueller, and the contract particulars are merely being hashed out). The same CSN piece, from Patrick Mooney, indicates that the Cubs still plan to hire an assistant hitting coach, a position they started using last year with Rob Deer, who is not expected to return.
Right now, there is a tentative belief that pitching coach Chris Bosio, bullpen coach Lester Strode, and staff assistant Mike Borzello will be returning. That leaves, together with the hitting coach and assistant hitting coach, an opening for bench coach, first base coach, and third base coach on Rick Renteria’s staff.
Among the names being reported for those openings, there are Gary Jones and Bruce Fields from the Sun-Times. Jones is currently a defensive coordinator with the Padres, and Fields is a hitting instructor with the Tigers. Each has had a relationship with Renteria over the years.
Jon Heyman also hears Jones as a possibility, and adds Jose Castro. The latter has held a variety of positions in the Padres’ and Mariners’ systems over the last several years, mostly with the Mariners and mostly on the hitting side.
Finally, the CSN report on Bill Mueller also mentions Mariano Duncan as a coaching possibility, something we’ve discussed previously. This past year, Duncan was the hitting coach at High-A Daytona before spending the final month or so of the season with the big club.