The cuts and changes to the training staff are even deeper than discussed yesterday, as it’s fair to say now that the whole department got a top to bottom overhaul over the course of the last 12 months.
More on that at The Athletic from Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney:
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) November 5, 2019
So the strength and conditioning program is totally different now, the mental skills program apparently retained only John Baker and Bob Tewksbury, and even the massage therapist and yoga instructor couldn’t survive the purge.
I understand that some meet these kinds of changes with skepticism, given the big talk about needed organizational changes – which started last year and resulted in almost no visible changes and the Cubs missing the postseason for the first time in five years. And, of course, if this were all the Cubs were doing this offseason, it would be a joke. But, in October and the first week of November, there isn’t exactly a whole lot you can do yet on the big league roster. So, instead, for now, the Cubs have replaced their manager, are turning over parts of the coaching staff, are fundamentally overhauling their player development system, are hiring new people in the scouting department, and have gutted the training staff.
I get that we all want to see visible changes to the big league roster, but so far, this is the stuff you WOULD want to see if the Cubs were serious about making substantial organizational changes. And that’s the stuff they NEEDED to be doing right now, because they’ve had their lunch eaten by more progressive organizations the last three years.
This is a GOOD start to the offseason.
Soon – well, after the Bryant grievance stuff? – they’ll get to the player changes. And that’s when the rubber really meets the road, as Sharma and Mooney note in the post. The under-the-hood stuff matters, especially in the longer-term. But without improvements to the big league roster this offseason, the Cubs will have failed to put the organization in a good position to succeed in 2020.