A couple coaching changes for the Cubs here during the lockout. One outgoing and one incoming.
First, the outgoing, with long-time Cubs bullpen catcher Chad Noble moving up the ladder to the catching coordinator spot, but not with the Cubs:
Chad Noble, formerly the Cubs' bullpen catcher, will join the Pirates as a catching coordinator, per sources. That's a position John Baker said in November the Pirates were looking to add.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) January 5, 2022
As you can tell from the promotion type, a guy who is a team’s bullpen catcher for so many years isn’t simply out there catching bullpen sessions. It’s a coaching job, and it can be a pipeline for developing talent. Good for Noble to get a shot to move up.
John Baker, of course, came to the Pirates from the Cubs organization, and as a fellow former catcher, probably knew Noble quite well. Remember how the Cubs bullpen – when it was on the field – wouldn’t move when there was a foul ball headed their way? Like a challenge? That was usually led by Noble, who snagged this foul ball with ease:
And who sat, unflinching, next to Travis Wood, who took the brunt of this one:
All the best to Noble, but hey, Pirates, stop poaching from the Cubs.
Meanwhile, on the incoming side, the Cubs are adding a guy who has mostly been a college coach to be their new minor league field coordinator:
Ed Blankmeyer spent 24 seasons as St. John’s University’s head baseball coach before joining the Mets before the 2020 season. He managed the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2021. The Cubs are bringing in an experienced and respected baseball coach. https://t.co/bSEgXVyzlv
— Greg Zumach (@IvyFutures) January 4, 2022
Blankmeyer replaces Jeremy Farrell, who was poached by the Reds to be their new farm director. Big shoes to fill, in a sense, as Farrell was very well-regarded. But I’m kind of interested in this approach by the Cubs, bringing in former long-time college coaches, with minor league experience, to serve in important developmental roles (the other big one this offseason being former Rays minor league hitting coordinator Greg Brown coming over to be the Cubs’ new hitting coach, where a developmental approach is going to now be expected).