There’s actually a whole lot to get to today, this first Friday of the Cubs’ offseason, so stay tuned …
- On that, there’s a bunch to get to from Theo Epstein’s season-ending press conference, and I’ll dig in on that shortly. One item to point out here is that Epstein confirmed the entire coaching staff has been invited back for 2016, which is notable because that hasn’t always been the case in the last few years. Although notable, it shouldn’t be surprising, given the job Joe Maddon’s staff appeared to do this year, simultaneously molding a young team, and also competing at an extremely high level.
- However, just because the Cubs want the whole staff to return, that doesn’t mean they necessarily all will – as we’ve discussed before, Maddon’s bench coach Dave Martinez is seen (and has been for a while) as a rising star in the coaching ranks, and could get an opportunity to interview for a managerial opening. For one speculative example, the Dodgers and Don Mattingly parted ways yesterday, and you’ll recall that the Dodgers’ president, Andrew Friedman, was the man in charge of the Rays when they had Maddon and Martinez in the dugout.
- In other words, with the Cubs’ season now over, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Cubs have a coach or two being considered for another open position. The same will likely be true in the front office, where, although they’ve mostly been unscathed so far, it’s possible there will be some movement now that folks are a little more free to interview and consider options. Most notably, the Phillies are still looking to hire a new GM by next week.
- We mentioned minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson leaving the organization yesterday, and Mark Gonzales reports that AA pitching coach Storm Davis, and scout Ken Kravec are also leaving the organization.
- More on that way, way outside pitch Kyle Schwarber hit for a homer against Jacob deGrom this week in this interesting write-up at FanGraphs. I’m glad Jeff Sullivan looked at this, because, when the Schwarber homer happened, some friends and I discussed how it reminded us of that Anthony Rizzo homer from 2014, where he went opposite field on a pitch in the middle of the right-handed batter’s box. Sure enough, the last homer that was as far outside as the one Schwarber hit out? That very Rizzo homer, which was the furthest outside a homer was, going all the way back to the start of the PITCHf/x era in 2008.
- Definitely read that Sullivan piece, though, because it also highlights Schwarber’s really impressive in-bat adjustment with his feet against deGrom. This is a 22-year-old in his first big league go-around. What a special hitter he is and could be.
- Amid the flurry of the NLCS, I missed this great article on the Cubs’ modernization from Brian Costa.
- Tim at Obstructed View offers his unique goodbye to the 2015 team.
- A class action by minor league players against MLB teams regarding low wages is proceeding to the next step (FanGraphs).