As we learned a week or so ago, most of the Cubs coaching staff was expected to return in 2015. The resignation of Bill Mueller as batting coach has made for some other changes in the staff, which the Cubs announced today via press release.
Houston Astros batting coach John Mallee has been named Cubs batting coach. Mallee was reportedly interviewed for the job when Mueller was hired a year ago, but decided to stay with the Astros instead. Now, the Chicago native has left Houston for Chicago. This will be Mallee's fifth year as a major-league hitting coach; he was the Marlins' batting coach in 2010 and 2011 (and, there's the connection -- he worked with bench coach Brandon Hyde there) and with Houston in 2013 and 2014. Mallee has 19 seasons of experience in pro baseball. He was a minor-league hitting instructor and coach in the Brewers, Expos and Marlins systems starting in 1996.
Here's a quote from Mallee:
Mallee: "I grew up a Cub fan and always dreamed of standing on the field and representing this amazing franchise."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 9, 2014
Doug Dascenzo, a popular favorite among Cubs fans for his five years playing for the big-league team from 1988-92, will join the team as first-base and outfield coach. Dascenzo served as the third base coach for the Atlanta Braves in 2014, his first as a coach at the big league level. Prior to joining the Braves in 2013 as a minor league outfield/baserunning instructor, he spent 13 seasons as a manager or coach in San Diego’s system. The Cubs could certainly use an experienced outfielder to work with some of the young outfielders, as well as work on baserunning, so this is a welcome addition.
Eric Hinske, who was the Cubs' first-base coach in 2014 in his first year as a coach after retiring as a player following the 2013 season, will remain with the staff as assistant hitting coach.
The other coaches -- Hyde, Chris Bosio, Gary Jones, Mike Borzello, Lester Strode, Jose Castro and Franklin Font -- will return in 2015 in the same positions they held in 2014.