The Overhaul Continues: Even Long-Time Bullpen Coach Lester Strode Is Leaving That Position (UPDATE: Different Role?)

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The Overhaul Continues: Even Long-Time Bullpen Coach Lester Strode Is Leaving That Position (UPDATE: Different Role?)

Chicago Cubs

Although the bullpen coach is not the most critical position on the staff, working with the relievers throughout the game, keeping them ready, evaluating candidly how good guys are looking and how they’re feeling – it’s important stuff.

Thus, I figure there’s a reason Lester Strode was the surviving-est coach on the Cubs, having been in his role for 13 seasons (and five different managers). But I suppose, if you’re overhauling the organization and bringing in a new manager, it isn’t necessarily the time to retain personnel simply because they’ve been doing a solid job for a long time. Sometimes, you want to push for even more than that.

I have no idea if that’s what ultimately lead to today’s news, but it’s a surprise:

With former Phillies pitching coach Chris Young (viewed as an up-and-comer) having interviewed for the bullpen coach job, as Rogers indicates he has, it seems pretty clear the Cubs are looking to bring another modern mind onto the staff. I kinda hate saying it, because Lester’s been around so long, but it’s probably the right idea.

That said: if Lester Strode is getting bounced, then truly, nobody is safe this offseason.*

*(I’m only like 10% kidding.)

UPDATE: It’s possible Strode will stick around in another role:



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.