Rumors have been flying in recent weeks about the Cubs’ coaching staff vacancies. And now, we have official word on the rest of the coaching staff for 2019.
As noted here a couple of weeks ago, Tommy Hottovy has been named pitching coach. He’s been in the organization the last couple of years as run prevention coordinator, and from that article, here’s what that title means:
That’s an unusual title; in the position, Hottovy has worked with Cubs catching coach Mike Borzello “to create and communicate advanced scouting plans to the pitchers and catchers,” per Sharma’s article.
Hottovy, at 37, will become the youngest pitching coach in the major leagues. He’s got a strong connection to Theo & Co., as he was drafted by them for the Red Sox in the fourth round in 2004. He pitched briefly in the big leagues for the Red Sox in 2011 and for the Royals in 2012 (pictured above). He’s apparently already got the respect of the pitchers in the organization from his previous role.
Also as noted here last week, Terrmel Sledge has officially been named assistant hitting coach, to help out hitting coach Anthony Iapoce.
Borzello associate pitching coach title added, Terrmel Sledge assistant hitting coach, Chris Denorfia quality control coach, everyone else returning— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) December 6, 2018
Mike Borzello has been the Cubs’ catching coach since 2011 after previous stints with the Dodgers and Yankees. He’s been well-respected and liked in this role and likely will continue to work with catchers.
The quality control coach role was previously held by Henry Blanco until he departed to become the Diamondbacks’ bullpen coach after the 2017 season. No one had that spot last year. The job involves (among other things) being the person relaying decisions from the video room to the dugout about replay challenges.
With the additions of Sledge, Hottovy and Denorfia to a staff that already includes first-base coach Will Venable, the Cubs will have one of the younger coaching staffs in the major leagues, despite the presence of long-time coaching veterans Brian Butterfield and Lester Strode. At this point, Strode, staff assistant Franklin Font, bullpen catcher Chad Noble and bench coach Brandon Hyde are the only holdovers from the coaching staff of the 2016 World Series champions, and Hyde could yet leave, if he’s hired for the currently vacant Baltimore Orioles managing job.
As always, we await developments.