We’ll have to find out soon whether this was an organizational decision, an Anthony Iapoce decision, or something more mutual. In any case, it’s a bit of a surprise. Assuming the report is accurate.
Anthony Iapoce is not expected to return as Chicago Cubs hitting coach, according to sources familiar with the situation.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 5, 2021
Iapoce has been the Cubs hitting coach for the past three seasons, originally joining Joe Maddon’s staff before the 2019 season, and then sticking for the transition to David Ross. Before that, he’d been the Texas Rangers’ hitting coach, and before that, he was the Cubs’ minor league hitting coordinator. That is to say, he’s been a Theo/Jed guy for a long time, and it makes you wonder what is precipitating this decision.
We know what some of the struggles have been at the big league level on the offensive side, particularly as guys failed to take additional developmental steps upon reaching the big leagues. We know about the offense “breaking” and the various stagnations. But what makes this timing a little weird is that the Cubs saw so many surprising offensive breakouts this year from guys who clearly improved with the Cubs. And then you also had all the turnover on the roster with so many guys – some who had stagnated – no longer on the roster. None of that is to say Iapoce, alone, is responsible for this or that (good or bad). It is only to say I didn’t really think this particular change was coming this offseason.
But, as I said, we don’t yet know whether this was a Cubs decision or an Iapoce decision or something more mutual. It’s possible he decided at the end of his contract that it was time for a change. We’ll see.
UPDATE: The decision is dubbed mutual, with more details to come:
Cubs, Iapoce parting ways. Was mutual. Nothing official from the team on Ross’ staff just yet.
Iapoce essentially handled two rosters in ‘21. And down stretch in September, only Giants (.824) and Cards (.799) had a better team OPS than Cubs (.789). More⬇️ https://t.co/gR66o2NPHX
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 5, 2021