At the end of the 2017 season, the Chicago Cubs lost their hitting coach, John Mallee (let go), their pitching coach, Chris Bosio (let go), and their bench coach, Dave Martinez (left to become manager of the Washington Nationals). That’s a whole lot of turnover in key positions, especially for a team that went to yet another NLCS.
But the leakage didn’t stop there. This season, they’ve already fired the hitting coach they got to replace John Mallee, Chili Davis, after a brutal second-half offensively. And now the bench coach who replaced Martinez, Brandon Hyde, is getting interviewed for a managerial gig of his own:
The Rangers have interviewed their first three managerial candidates:
– Assistant GM Jayce Tingler
– Chicago Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde
– Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada (via phone)
— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) October 11, 2018
Brandon Hyde, 45, played professional baseball back from 1997-2001 in the Chicago White Sox organization as well as some independent ball. In 2005, he began working in the Marlins organization, where he stayed for four years, before being named the Marlins minor league infield coordinator in 2010 – a year he also got a chance as the team’s interim bench coach after the Marlins fired their manager Fredi Gonzalez, their bench coach Carlos Tosca, and their hitting coach, Jim Presley (they’ve always been a mess, haven’t they? (well, when they weren’t winning titles and then immediately stripping down)).
At the end of last season, the Mets actually reached out to Hyde, then the Cubs first base coach, to have him join their staff, but he rejected that proposal and was rewarded with a bump up to bench coach by Joe Maddon and company. Given the depth of his experience as a player, an instructor, and a coach, as well as his tenure in the league, I’m not surprised at all that he’s being considered for managerial gigs.
However, he fits into that “inexperienced” and “young” category, as far as managerial gigs go, so it’ll take the right sort of GM to pick him to lead a team right now. With Joe Girardi, Carlos Beltran, Dusty Baker, and a many other former managers and big names lingering out there, it could be a competitive landscape. Then again, like I said, some GMs are looking to avoid the big names.
Good luck to Hyde in the process. Like Martinez, it would be a shame to see such a talented coach go – the Cubs basically had three managers at one point (Maddon, Hyde, and Martinez) just like how they have three GMs right now (Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod) – but when you have that sort of depth at one position, so to speak, you can afford to let people move on to bigger and better things.