Lester Strode has been the Cubs’ bullpen coach since 2007, under five different managers, and previously was a coach and coordinator in the organization since 1989.
He won’t be returning in 2020:
The Cubs continue to make changes to their coaching staff as longtime bullpen coach, Lester Strode, won't be returning. Strode was the longest tenured in-uniform coach, having worked under 5 different Cubs managers since 2007. Among potential... https://t.co/AY3PyoH8Jh— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 6, 2019
Among potential replacements is former Phillies pitching coach, Chris Young, who interviewed for the job recently.
In case you were wondering, this is not the Chris Young who pitched for the Rangers, Padres, Mets, Mariners and Royals over a 13-year career that ended in 2017. Instead, it’s this guy, who had a brief minor-league career in the Rockies, Pirates and Marlins organizations.
Lester Strode has been a fixture at Wrigley Field for a long time, as noted above. This isn’t specifically being characterized as a “retirement,” though Strode, who is 61, had been rumored to be thinking about retiring for the last couple of years. Strode was the Royals’ fourth-round pick in 1980 and pitched in the Royals, Orioles, Cardinals and Cubs organizations for nine years, peaking at Triple-A before joining the Cubs minor-league staff in 1989 as a pitching coach, working his way up to minor-league pitching coordinator in 1996.
Strode will be missed. His departure is yet another indication that the 2020 Cubs coaching staff will look far different than it has over the last couple of seasons.
UPDATE: It appears Strode will be staying in the organization, just not as bullpen coach.
Veteran Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode won’t be back in that spot but has been offered another prominent position with the team. New manager David Ross is said to have someone else in mind for pen coach.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2019