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Cubs name Mark Loretta bench coach

There’s a name you hadn’t heard mentioned before.

Mark Loretta batting for the Brewers in 1997
Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

We have discussed a number of different names for the open position as Cubs bench coach under manager Joe Maddon, after Brandon Hyde left the position to become Orioles manager.

Mark Loretta was not one of those names. But Wednesday, he was named Cubs bench coach.

Loretta, 47, who played college ball at Northwestern, had a 15-year big-league career with five teams, mostly with the Brewers (eight of those years). He was an infielder who hit .295/.360/.395 and had 1,713 hits. He was an All-Star twice and finished ninth in MVP voting in 2004, when he was with the Padres.

He’s spent the last nine seasons in the Padres front office, most recently as a special assistant, baseball operations.

The Cubs also today named former big-league pitcher Bob Tewksbury as coordinator, mental skills. He’ll work with John Baker in that department. He’s got quite a bit of experience in this realm, having spent 10 years as the Mental Skills coordinator for the Red Sox from 2004-13. Then he served as the Director of Player Development for the MLB Players Association in 2014, returned to the Red Sox for two seasons from 2015-16 and most recently served as mental performance coach for the San Francisco Giants from 2017-18.

Tewksbury had a 13-year career as a big-league pitcher, including parts of two seasons with the Cubs (1987-88). The Cubs acquired Tewksbury from the Yankees for Steve Trout July 13, 1987, but never gave him much of a chance. Too bad, because he went on to have several good years for the Cardinals in the mid-1990s.

The selection of Loretta seems a good one. He’s got quite a bit of experience as a special assistant, and one of his best qualities as a player was on-base percentage. Perhaps he can help out in that area as well. And, there won’t be people around asking if he’s a possible successor to Maddon, as Loretta has no official big-league coaching experience. He’s familiar to Theo & Co., as he played for the Red Sox in 2006.

The Cubs’ coaching staff for 2019 is now complete.


Mark Loretta, bench coach!

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