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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