Hot for Hottovy, Happ Leads, El Mago Coaches, and Other Bullets

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Hot for Hottovy, Happ Leads, El Mago Coaches, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s a travel day for me, as I head to Chicago for the Cubs Convention this weekend. I’ll also be on the CLTV Sports Feed tonight, so that’s cool. Hopefully they don’t hate me for not packing a suit. Gonna wear a really nice sweater instead, since I can fit it in my amazing backpack. I travel light, man!

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts spoke on The Score this morning, and you can see the thrust of his comments on the BN Twitter feed. I’ll have a full write-up later, but he’s also going to speak on ESPN 1000 later this morning, so I’m just going to do it all together in one piece.

  • This is a great read on just how Tommy Hottovy transitioned from a pitcher still trying to hang on to a guy in a completely new role – one that he, himself, reached out to the Cubs to try to create – and what he’s already been up to since becoming the Cubs’ pitching coach:

  • A news note in there, as Patrick Mooney confirms that, indeed, it will be former pitcher Brad Mills replacing Tommy Hottovy’s run-prevention role in the organization. It’s kinda like being a technical liaison between the data, the front office, and the pitchers, or as Hottovy described it: “Take a nugget and give it to Quintana. Or take a nugget and give it to Lester. We joke because we may do three or four hours of work and dig and dig for that two-minute conversation. And that two-minute conversation may make or break the next two weeks of the season for the player. That’s really kind of what I envisioned that role to become. To help guys shorten that gap between when we need to make adjustments, when things got out of whack. I was a player who had to do that off feel – or what a pitching coach told you – for a long time. Now we have data to help provide all that. Now it’s just funneling it down and translating it to the players.”
  • One big picture thing you take away every time you read about and from Hottovy? He’s coming at this stuff from such a different perspective than the traditional pitching coaches of old. That could play out in ways both excellent and terrible, but it’s exciting to see it nonetheless. The Cubs have actually wrung out impressive overall performances (relative to perceived talent) from their pitching staff throughout the Epstein/Hoyer era in Chicago, so it’s hard to see how much better things could get. Then again, maybe Hottovy can help extend the performance of the older pitchers, and also get some of the young guys (in the bullpen?) to finally take steps forward.
  • Ian Happ demonstrates how best to respond to the nearly impossible questions players are going to get about Addison Russell:

  • Infield coach, El Mago:

  • Scouting award:

  • Can’t decide if I’m sorry:

  • Eddie! Eddie! Eddie:

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.