It has been a season of change for the Chicago Cubs, and the changes haven’t stopped since the season ended. There will be plenty of time to change and fix the roster, but Jed Hoyer has already started making changes to the coaching staff.
Reports are circulating that David Ross is discussing an extension with the Cubs, and the team would like to lock him up long term. If that is the case, Ross will likely be having his input on a new coaching staff that suddenly has two very big holes.
Cubs Say “Bye” to Borzello
Mike Borzello joined the Cubs organization at the same time that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer did, and he has had a number of different roles since that time. Hoyer recently announced that Borzello and the Cubs would be parting ways in what was described as a mutual decision.
In 2021 Borzello worked under the title of “Associate Pitching, Catching, and Strategy Coach,” and it’s hard to really put into words what that means. He did a little bit of everything for this Cubs organization, and he always drew high praise from everyone involved.
It was under Borzello that Willson Contreras became a much better defensive catcher, and Borzello was also in charge of aligning the defense. It’s clear that he had a big role with the pitching staff, but it’s hard to estimate how many wins his work helped produce.
This is also a role that might not be replaced by the Cubs in the future, or they could choose to hire multiple men to fill these roles. This departure is still another blow to an organization that continues to lose familiar faces.
Iopace Latest Scapegoat for Offense
When Theo Epstein was still in charge of the Cubs, he continued to use the word “broken” to describe the Cubs offense post-World Series championship. There were a number of reasons (excuses) given, but the blame always seemed to be placed on the hitting coach at the time.
This has not been a position of stability in the Cubs organization, and at some point the blame has to simply fall on the players. Anthony Iopace is the latest scapegoat to take the blame for a lack of offense and he is reportedly out the door already.
Iopace has been the hitting coach for the last three seasons with the Cubs, and has been in the organization even longer. He spent time as the Cubs minor league hitting instructor, and was in charge of most of the Cubs players that ended up finishing the 2021 season.
It’s unclear whether this was a mutual decision or a “firing,” but it’s clear that Jed Hoey wants to go a different direction with the offense. It won’t matter what hitting coach is in charge unless the team goes out and acquires Major League level talent on offense.