The Cubs wanted to make sure to have a spot or two open on the coaching staff where new manager David Ross could bring in some guys that he knows, that he feels comfortable with, and that he wants around him as he enters this new phase for the team.
Well, sounds like he’s getting one as his new quality assurance coach:
Mike Napoli is expected to join the Cubs as David Ross’ quality assurance coach. Napoli played with Ross on the Red Sox team that won the 2013 World Series.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) November 14, 2019
I could be misremembering, but I think Mike Napoli was already kinda sought after as a coach late in his playing career while he was still trying to make a go of it on minor league deals. His final one was in 2018, when he got injured, and then ended up hanging ’em up. The Cubs, it turns out, tried to bring him in *last* year as a coach:
The Cubs pursued Napoli last winter but he wanted to take a short break. He will be quality assurance coach for Cubs.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 14, 2019
He took a year off, and by mid-year, he was ready to get into coaching.
It’s not at all hard to see why Napoli is being brought in as a coach – just Google “Mike Napoli veteran leader” and see everything that comes up – and if Ross is happy to have him on board, then I’m happy, too. Oh, wait, I should probably say what the “quality assurance” coach is. Honestly? I’m sure there are particularities that he’s responsible for, but it was a new position invented years ago by Joe Maddon, I believe, mostly just as a way to simply get another coach on the staff.
Can confirm that Napoli will be the Cubs' new quality assurance coach. Covered Nap in Cleveland. He played a huge part in shaping the culture there in '16. https://t.co/9Woc3caFSv
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) November 14, 2019
That leaves only one more base coach job open for the Cubs.