Cubs Announce Coaching Changes: Mallee Out as Hitting Coach, Jones Out at Third Base

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Cubs Announce Coaching Changes: Mallee Out as Hitting Coach, Jones Out at Third Base

Chicago Cubs

So much for not much turnover on the Chicago Cubs’ coaching staff, eh?

Today, the team announced a significant number of changes, in addition to ones we already knew about:

So then, you can immediately see a couple things there: hitting coach John Mallee is now gone, as is third base coach Gary Jones. Mallee came under fire periodically over the past two years for the Cubs’ lack of situational hitting (fair or unfair), and further for some developmental issues with players not effectively implementing selective aggression and working counts (again, fair or unfair). Jones sometimes made really bad calls at third base, but that’s pretty much every third base coach since forever, and they do a lot more work with the players beyond that (Jones was also the infield coach). So I really couldn’t comment on him being let go.

In Mallee’s place, Chili Davis comes over from Boston, where he was the hitting coach for the past three years. Given the development there by a number of young hitters, that sounds great to me. We’ll have to dig in on him a bit more soon.

Brian Butterfield takes over for Jones as the third base coach (and probably infield coach) after filling that role with the Red Sox for the past five years.

As you can see, with John Farrell losing the manager job in Boston, the Cubs probably went to work targeting some guys on his staff that they wanted.

As for Haines, who replaces Eric Hinske (he got the hitting coach job with the Angels), he served as the team’s minor league hitting coordinator for the past couple years, and is very well-regarded. Getting him up and on staff with the big league team at this point seems like a very good move.

There could still be more change coming for the Cubs, who’ll see their bench coach Dave Martinez interviewing with Nationals for their open managerial position, and who have already parted ways with pitching coach Chris Bosio. Joe Maddon’s former pitching coach (from Tampa Bay) Jim Hickey has been in to interview for that job, but no announcements have been made yet.

It’s not often you see so much turnover on a coaching staff that was in place for three straight NLCS runs, but – especially in retrospect – it’s not difficult to see that now might be an opportune time to get new voices in the room.

Mallee offered a farewell on Twitter:

UPDATE: Maddon indeed referenced getting some new voices involved:

We’ll find out soon, I’d hope, exactly what the thinking was here, and who drove the changes. My guess is it was a bit collaborative between the front office and Maddon.

UPDATE 2: Sure enough, the fact that the Red Sox guys became available had a lot to do with this:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.