At least two coaches will not be returning to the Cubs in 2020, with third base coach Brian Butterfield and strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss headed to Anaheim to join Joe Maddon with the Angels.
Sources indicate two members of Joe Maddon’s Cub staff will follow him to the Angels . Brian Butterfield will coach third base . Cubs Strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will be in the Quality assurance role for Anaheim.The popular Buss was with Cubs since 2001.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) November 1, 2019
Butterfield was a recent Cubs coaching hire, driven by Maddon, so his departure is not a surprise. At a minimum, it opens a spot for new manager David Ross to bring in someone he’s been looking to add, so it’s not necessarily a huge issue.
As for Buss, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it’s rare that fans even know who the strength and conditioning coach *IS*, which is a testament to how fun and well-liked Buss has been over the years. And obviously, he lasted in the Cubs org a very, very long time for a reason.
On the other hand, as the Cubs are clearly looking to modernize all layers of their player development, it’s not necessarily a surprise to see an older school strength guy moving on. Indeed, consider that the Cubs hired two performance coaches from the NFL last year, one of whom was given a Director of High Performance title (Adam Beard), a role that would seem to have strength and conditioning underneath it. It’s possible this was a planned transition on the departure of Maddon in any case.
Best of luck to Butterfield and Buss (in a new role) on Maddon’s staff. I’d love to see the Angels do well next year.