I had heard some chatter recently that the Cubs may have hired a new coach into the pitching infrastructure, but I didn’t quite have it firm enough until … it was scooped by new Cubs pitcher Kendall Graveman.
Graveman, who signed this weekend with the Cubs as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery, told MLB Network Radio that the Cubs “just hired Brad Mills, who I played with,” and he said it in conjunction with a discussion about working with new pitching coach Tommy Hottovy. That’s notable because Hottovy was an internal hire by the Cubs, vacating his former Run Prevention Coordinator position. That role involved, among other things, working with the pitchers on how to actually implement certain elements of their performance, based on video, scouting reports, game-planning, etc. It was a new role more or less created for Hottovy, and it would be nice to get another bright, young former pitcher into that spot.
Maybe that’s Mills?
We can’t say for sure just yet until there’s a formal announcement, because it could be some other kind of role that Mills is taking, but Graveman definitely said “hired” – not “signed” – and was definitely talking about the coaching staff in that section.
The Mills that Graveman played with – not to be confused with former Astros manager and current Indians bench coach Brad Mills – is just 33, but last pitched in the big leagues with the A’s in 2015. He saw time at AAA with the Mariners in 2016, but that was it for him in affiliated ball. Perhaps, like Hottovy, he’s transitioning now into a coaching role.
I look forward to hearing more – officially – about Mills soon, and to seeing more scoops from Graveman. Somebody ask him about Bryce Harper …