My word. For the second straight offseason, it’s looking like there will be a surprising volume of impactful turnover on the Cubs’ coaching staff. Having already fired/lost the team’s two hitting coaches, GM Jed Hoyer said last night that there were still some other coaches mulling things over. Now it sounds like even the pitching coach could be out the door:
ESPN 1000's Jesse Rogers this morning on pitching coach Jim Hickey
"I'm pretty sure Jim Hickey is not back…I don't believe Jim Hickey is back. I'm pretty much reporting that at this moment."#Cubs would have 3 different hitting & pitching coaches in 3 years if Hickey is fired pic.twitter.com/MbDZruknkw
— Pinwheels and Ivy Podcast (@PinwheelsIvyPod) November 7, 2018
Wow. If that comes to fruition, it would be – like the Chili Davis hiring and firing – quite an indictment of the front office’s and Joe Maddon’s process in putting together the coaching staff before last season. To have things not work out with big name coaches after just one year? And it was a year the Cubs won 95 games? What the heck, man.
As for Hickey, you can always point to good things and bad things in player performance, and attribute it to a coach in either direction to fit your narrative, so I won’t claim to know too much about how things were working. We do know that Joe Maddon wanted him after having a long history together, and if Hickey is dismissed after just one year, it would see quite a rebuke of that relationship. Of course, it could also be the case that Hickey is the one who wants to depart because of organizational uncertainty. We don’t know yet.
This being against the backdrop of the Cubs choosing not to work on an extension with Maddon this offseason sure makes it seem all the more likely that 2019 is the last season of Maddon’s time with the Cubs. That is all rather challenging to process at the moment. The rapidity of it all. And three hitting coaches and three pitching coaches in three years. Yikes.
In any case, we’ll see if this plays out, and if so, what the Cubs can do to fill yet another important coaching void with a lame-duck manager at the helm. Consider that the Cubs got Anthony Iapoce to be the hitting coach, but he was a free agent, had a past history with this front office, and the Cubs pounced quickly. A lot of other coaches have already made their decisions for the 2019 season.