This month I’ll be taking a look at the coaches of this year’s Cubs in a segment called In The Dugout. I’ll be talking about who they are, where they come from, and what they can bring to this years edition of out Cubs. First off in our series I’ll be talking about one of the few holdovers from the previous regime.
Chris Bosio – Pitching Coach
Anytime an organization makes a change to its manager, the rest of the staff always wonders what their fate will be. Most managers will put guys they have worked with in those roles, but it isn’t unheard of for a coach to be retained from the previous staff.
Chris Bosio earned that privilege.
After Bosio’s playing career was over, he began coaching in 1998. After a few years coaching in the minor leagues, Bosio was hired as the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, then under the guidance of Lou Pinella. He left following that season, citing family health reasons. Bosio then spent two seasons coaching in the college ranks before returning to be the pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds at Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. In 2009 he joined the Brewers organization, and lead their Triple-A Nashville Sounds to the lowest ERA in the Pacific Coast League. Bosio joined the Cubs staff in 2012, and he and bullpen coach Lester Strode are the only on field holdovers from the previous staff.
While the Cubs as a whole struggled mightily in 2013, the pitching staff truly did excel. For all the changes and shuffling throughout the year, including Marmol and his final year as a Cub, Shawn Camp’s digression after being a workhorse the previous season, and the roster altering trades at the break, Bosio maintained much consistency with this staff.
The Cubs finished 5th in batting average allowed at .244, and were also 5th in the league in quality starts with 91. And while having a WHIP of 1.29 and finishing 8th, you would think they were a better team. But the wheels came off so to speak with BB’s (540, most in the NL) and HR’s allowed (160, 4th most in the NL). In this aspect, the Cubs never gave themselves a chance. They put them on and gave the defense no chance to pick them up. Control and keeping the ball in the park will be key focal points for this years staff.
Bosio has been successful at all levels of baseball, as a player and a coach. This years pitching staff will again have a different look to it. But the emergence of Travis Wood as a solid starter helps bolster what should be a solid starting rotation. The future of Jeff Samardzija is still to be determined, but he falls in line with the aforementioned focal points. Keep the ball down and in the park. But guys like Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, and James Russell to name just a few should give the Cubs a good starting point going into spring training, and no doubt an unknown will put his name into consideration.
Keep following Cubbies Crib for all the latest Cubs news, and keep an eye out for the next installment of “In the Dugout” when we get to know new Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde.