I expect that most non-Cubs fans, and maybe even some of the less-hardcore Cubs fans, have no idea who Mike Borzello is. But if you’ve been around here for long, or watched many games, you recognize him.
Borzello, whose tenure with the Cubs spanned ten seasons and four managers, will not be returning to the Cubs next year. Team president Jed Hoyer made the announcement today, and it sounded like it was a mutual decision – ten years being the time to take a break was referenced – though you’ll always wonder. It was certainly a surprising announcement, since Borzello had seemingly become one of those guys who was just always around.
Borzello initially came over with Dale Sveum at the very start of the Epstein-Hoyer regime, and in his time with the team has worn a number of coaching hats, from being a catching instructor to a strategy guy to a run-prevention guy to whatever else the Cubs needed at the time. His official title at the time of departure was “Associate Pitching, Catching, and Strategy Coach.” Basically, Borzello was a guy who helped the pitchers and catchers work on their games in general, and then also hone game plans for a specific outing.
Maybe it was just time, and maybe there are issues under the hood we don’t know about. But there was a reason Borzello lasted as long as he did, and I would expect he’ll find more work elsewhere if he’s interested.
As for the coaching staff at large, Hoyer suggested that Borzello and hitting coach Anthony Iapoce would be the only departures, though he caveated that the process was not finalized.