A Little More on the Cubs’ New Coaching Staff

chicago cubs logoThe Chicago Cubs announced the majority of Rick Renteria’s coaching staff last week – we’re still waiting on a first base coach – and the official release on the coaching staff includes some additional tidbits on each coach worth checking out.

You probably didn’t know much about third base coach Gary Jones, assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley, or quality assurance coach Jose Castro until now (I didn’t), so here’s a bit more:

Jones, 53, joins the Cubs as third base coach and infield coach after spending the last 11 years in the Padres organization, including the last seven as minor league infield coordinator. He has one year of major league experience as the first base coach for Oakland in 1998. Jones has 15 seasons of experience as a minor league manager, earning four minor league manager of the year awards. He originally signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 1982 and appeared in 897 minor league games.

Brumley, 51, joins the Cubs as assistant hitting coach after spending the last four seasons as first base coach with the Seattle Mariners. A veteran of part of seven major league seasons, Brumley began his big league career with the Cubs in 1987 and later played for Seattle (1990), Boston (1991-92), Houston (1993, 1995) and Oakland (1994). Upon retiring, Brumley spent 13 seasons as a minor league manager, field coordinator and instructor from 1997-2009 before joining Seattle’s major league staff in 2010.

Castro, 55, joins the Cubs as quality assurance coach after spending the last 25 years as a minor league hitting coordinator or hitting coach in the Kansas City, Seattle, Florida, San Diego and Montreal organizations. He also served an interim stint as Seattle’s major league hitting coach in 2008.

You may also not have known much about staff assistant Mike Borzello, who became something of a star last year and is now the “catching and strategy” coach. Here’s more:

Borzello, 43, enters his third season with the Cubs with an expanded role of catching and strategy coach. Prior to joining Chicago, he spent four seasons (2008-11) with the Los Angeles Dodgers as their bullpen catcher, a stint that followed 12 years in the New York Yankees organization starting in 1996 (roles included bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher). Overall, Borzello has 18 years of experience with three major league clubs.

Carrie Muskat also got a bit more from new hitting coach Bill Mueller, about whom you likely do know some things, at least as a player. He’s from the “I had to work for everything I got, so I have a good understanding of how to teach it” school of thought. There’s also more in there on some of the other coaches in Muskat’s piece. It’s a good read.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

29 responses to “A Little More on the Cubs’ New Coaching Staff”

  1. Steve

    Mike Brumley is now the Cubs assistant hitting coach. What’s the point of hiring a person who could barely hit over over .200 in his major league career to work as a hitting coach??? Typical Cub move!!!

    1. jim

      Some of the best coaches were average players, and vice versa. Personally I’m impressed to see how well traveled the assistant hitting coach is. Speaks highly to where the FO feels the focus should be.

    2. TWC

      This is such dumb criticism.

      Bad player/excellent manager:
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/larusto01.shtml

      Excellent player/terrible manager.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/willite01.shtml

    3. ColoCubFan

      I have a brother who is a college professor that has trouble doing simple things that most people take for granted. Remember the old axiom, if you can’t do, teach!

  2. jh03

    About the Jays trading for Shark:

    I hope that doesn’t happen. It seems a bit reckless to me. For what its worth, I would take Stroman over Sanchez.

    1. Mick

      I’d argue that keeping Shark is just as reckless as trading him now. The only reason to keep him at this point is to either trade him later or sign him to an extension. He won’t sign an extension and hanging on to him hoping he increases his trade value is a dangerous game, look what happened with Garza.

      I’d ask for Sanchez, Stroman, and Gose but I’d be happy with Sanchez, Norris, and Gose.

      1. jh03

        It’d be reckless for the Jays. That was Parks’ quote from his chat.

      2. Mike F

        That is a ridiculous amount. Maybe they could get Sanchez, Norris, Drabek and Yberra, but no one is going to pay the 4 you name for Shark. Your deal would take Jeff and Castro and I have to believe any organization would even hesitate with the getting 4 prospects like that. Putting it in Cub terms you’re asking for Bryant, Almora, Soler and Edwards. You can forget that deal for Jeff…..

    2. Murky Waters

      I’m having a hard time understanding what’s to like about Stroman over Sanchez ?

      1. North Side Irish

        Professor Parks said it in his chat today…

        1. Professor Snarks

          Parks’ chat was particularly Cubs heavy today.

          1. Kyle

            I assume this came from one of us:

            “LGBT (Evanston, Il): The choice is yours. Would you trade two Role 7 prospects for one Role 8? (health, positional need, and the such all being equal).

            Jason Parks: No. Give me two 7s over an 8″

  3. MightyBear

    A lot of great managers/coaches weren’t successful as players but they learned from other coaches and learned how to teach. Lasorda wasn’t a very good pitcher but became a good pitching coach and then became a great manager. Leyland wasn’t a good hitter but had a similar path. Conversely both Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams were not very successful as hitting coaches even though they were tremendous hitters. Williams probably knew more about the science of hitting than anyone. Yet he was impatient and couldn’t understand why his “students” couldn’t do what he did. No one could.

  4. Andrew

    Sooo a quality assurance coach does what exactly? Is this a new position or one that is common around baseball?

    1. jim

      From a quick google looks fairly unique to the Cubs. I’d guess it’s like a game prep/”taking care of the little things” guy.

    2. Funn Dave

      QA coach checks out all the players before the game, makes sure their uniforms are clean, their faces don’t have any blemishes, etc., and then stamps them as “approved” before they walk onto the field.

      1. Spriggs

        …and as he stamps them approved, he slaps them on the butt and says, “Cubs Way, baby”.

  5. The Dude Abides

    Let’s give all of these coaches a couple of years and judge them then. They are all potentially in a tough spot on a bad team and obviously Theo missed with some of the other coaches he hired two years ago, but hopefully he gets it right this time. I’m sure more thought was put into these picks, at least I hope so.

    1. Funn Dave

      Are there people judging these guys already? In November?

  6. Aaron

    Theo hiring a manager and coaching staff – TAKE 2.

    In this case, I hope the sequel is BETTER than the original.

    1. Coach K

      Can’t be worse, can it?

  7. Scotti

    Mike Brumley trivia: He was traded, with Dennis Eckersley, by Boston to Chicago for Bill Buckner (who is the hitting coach in Boise). Four years later the Cubs traded him to San Diego, with Keith Moreland, for Goose Gossage.

  8. AceRemote

    We’re going to miss Dave McKay. On a side note what the hell is Mike Quade up to these days?

    1. Headscratchin

      The last reference I can find of him was written on Jun 4, 2013 and it says he is currently out of baseball.

  9. Aaron

    Coach K…at least for Starlin Castro it would have been better season if there were no assigned manager or coaches. A few months ago I pitched the idea of a “guest manager” for the day, similar to what they do for the 7th inning stretch song. I know I could have done just as good as Dale did on any given day.

  10. 26.2CubsFan

    Anyone else notice the volume of minor league experience with this new staff? This seems like just the kind of staff you would want when the kids start coming up this year. If their experience is working with young prospects and they have success, they’re better equipped than someone like Lou or Leyland, who seem to specialize in maximizing the ability of seasoned vets.

  11. Die hard

    Sure — that’s fine in theory but when kids come up they have to get next level and only someone with lots of Major League experience managing and coaching will get them there

  12. woody

    Of course there are a lot of minor league coaches. The cubs are a minor league team right?

  13. Brian

    Just curious – is anyone else concerned about the influx of coaches from the San Diego Padres system? Last I checked, the Padres haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. Isn’t that “pre Jed Hoyer”?

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