Anthony Iapoce has been the Chicago Cubs’ hitting coach for the last three seasons, hired October 15, 2018 just after that disappointing season ended.
It is, I think, a commentary on the lack of impact he had on Cubs hitters that the only photos I have available to me of Iapoce in a Cubs uniform are the ones taken on team photo day in Spring Training, such as the one above.
And now, per this report, he’s gone:
Anthony Iapoce is not expected to return as Chicago Cubs hitting coach, according to sources familiar with the situation.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 5, 2021
Robert Murray is a generally reliable source, so I’m going to take this as something that will happen soon.
Frankly, this is not necessarily the right coaching staff move, in my opinion. Cubs hitters actually did reasonably well this year, actually scoring more runs per game after the selloff than before. It’s the pitching that was atrocious, but Jed Hoyer & Co. seem to like Tommy Hottovy and I doubt Hottovy is going anywhere.
In general, hitting coaches are scapegoats. They don’t get enough credit when the team hits well, and too much blame when they don’t. Thus, the Cubs are moving on. One reason could be approach — I know the team wants to focus more on putting balls in play rather than “launch angle.” Hey, Chili Davis is available.
Iapoce had been in the Cubs’ minor league system from 2012-15 in various capacities, then was the Texas Rangers batting coach from 2016-18.
I wish Iapoce well and now we’ll see who the Cubs replace him with, and if there are any other changes coming to the coaching staff.