Cubs Lost a Quality Coach, Contreras's Slump, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Lost a Quality Coach, Contreras’s Slump, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The week before Christmas week. I remember this time last year, we definitely saw some movement around the league before things got really quiet through the holidays and on into February.

  • The Cubs are on the hunt for a new bench coach with just two months to go before Spring Training opens, which is wild. But so it is when the Orioles take forever to hire a manager, and that manager happens to be your bench coach. Good for Brandon Hyde, of course, who came in for heavy praise from his new boss, GM Mike Elias: “I believe that we have found the ideal leader for the next era of Orioles baseball …. Brandon’s deep background in player development and major league coaching – most recently helping to shape the Cubs into a world champion – has thoroughly prepared him for this job and distinguished him throughout our interview process.” Indeed, and that’s what the Cubs are losing.
  • Thoughts from Joe Maddon on how Willson Contreras was impacted in the second half last year:

  • We’ve written quite a bit on Contreras’s total loss of power last year, and hopefully an offseason to reset, a new hitting coach to work with, and some additional help behind the plate to keep him better rested throughout the year will all combine to bring back out that obvious offensive talent.
  • Sam Miller does what he does, and offers up five pitchers who might be worse hitters than you. No Cubs got a mention, but I would like to give a special honor to Jose Quintana, who was the Cubs’ worst hitting pitcher last year, with a cool .077/.077/.077 line, good for a -69 wRC+ (negative nice). Cole Hamels was the best of the bunch, hitting .130/.167/.261 (10 wRC+, which is 90% worse than average). This, uh, is not a strong hitting group.
  • Mike Trout is so very good:

  • Why are you taunting us like this, Cubs:

  • Can’t imagine Clark getting into a scrape like this, but you never know what happens if you mess with a mascot:

  • The Bears are the NFC North Champs for the first time in nearly a decade, and it is awesome:

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.