On October 9, 2014, Doug Dascenzo was hired by the Cubs to be their first-base coach beginning in 2015, under manager Rick Renteria.
Well, we all know what happened next. Renteria was let go, Joe Maddon was hired, and the rest of the coaching staff that was to continue under Renteria was retained in their existing positions — except for Dascenzo:
Dascenzo was bumped from manager Joe Maddon's coaching staff to make room for Dave Martinez, who was hired Thursday as the bench coach. Brandon Hyde, who was the bench coach in 2014, will move to first-base coach, which was to have been Dascenzo's job in 2015.
Now, Dascenzo will be the Cubs' outfield and baserunning coordinator.
"He's a Cub -- he handled it with complete grace," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of Dascenzo, who played for the Cubs from 1988-92.
Martinez is gone now, hired last week to manage the Washington Nationals. Hyde is returning to the bench coach spot he occupied in 2014.
Dascenzo, meanwhile, has remained in the organization, continuing as outfield and baserunning coordinator. You probably didn’t realize that, right? It’s likely because, as Theo said three years ago, Dascenzo handled the demotion with grace and simply showed up and did the job the team asked him to do.
With a vacancy at first base coach, it would seem not only the right thing to do, but logical to give Dascenzo the position he had been hired for three years ago. He could certainly continue helping with outfielding and baserunning skills at the big-league level.
Doug Dascenzo was a fan favorite in his five seasons for the Cubs. He hit .240/.301/.300 with 47 stolen bases in 443 games as a Cub and was a decent defensive outfielder. He later played briefly for the Padres and Rangers.
Then he began a coaching career which has now lasted 19 seasons. He began in the Padres organization from 1999-2011 which included four years managing in their minor-league system. Following that, he worked in the Braves organization from 2012-14, including a season as their major-league third base coach in 2014, before joining the Cubs in 2015.
I’d like to see Theo & Co. give Dascenzo, who is now 53, a chance to be a big-league coach for the team where he began his career.
You might remember that Doug also pitched in four games for the Cubs in 1990 and 1991, throwing five scoreless innings overall. Baseball-reference says that was worth 0.2 WAR. Here’s some video from his first pitching appearance June 12, 1990, when Doug threw the ninth inning of a 19-8 loss to the Mets (both the eighth and ninth are included on this clip):