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Chicago Cubs: Pitching coach Chris Bosio leads his staff to top in majors

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Oct 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; The W flag is raised after game five of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. The Cubs defeated the Indians 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; The W flag is raised after game five of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field. The Cubs defeated the Indians 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Cubs had a stellar year as a pitching staff. Their combined ERA of 3.15 was tops in the majors. Chris Bosio, the Cubs pitching coach, works behind the scenes to prepare his staff.

That Chicago Cubs’ staff came up aces for most of the year, producing a 19 game winner in Jon Lester, and a break-through year for Kyle Hendricks who won 16. Jake Arrieta, had a dominant start, but cooled off in the second half of season, but came through in the World Series, picking up two key wins.

Chris Bosio certainly helped Arrieta blossom into one of the top pitchers in the game, and helped him win the 2015 Cy Young Award. Arrieta has pitched two no-hitters under Bosio, one against the Dodgers, the other in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Bosio had a ten-year major league career with the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners. He threw a no-hitter of his own against the Boston Red Sox on April 22, 1993.

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Bosio also was a pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays under Lou Piniella and also the Milwaukee Brewers. He came to the Chicago Cubs in 2012 and as the team got better, the pitching staff also improved.

Bosio, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, spoke of the importance of communicating with manager Joe Maddon. He said they talk about preparing a pitcher for his next start,  how to plan for the opposing team and issues that might impact the starting pitcher of that game.

Communication is Key

Bosio communicates with the pitchers, both starters, and bullpen guys. In one game, he told Jason Hammel to watch the runner at first base. Hammel picked him off and got out of a jam.

Arrieta noted Bosio’s mental toughness. He’s right there with you, and doesn’t want you to back down, Arrieta said.

This coming year there will be new challenges. John Lackey is 38 and at the end of his two-year deal. Arrieta becomes a free-agent after 2017, and Lester turns a year older. He pitched a lot of innings over the years and you wonder how much does he have left coming off his great season?

Next: Schwarber poised to be Cubs' leader?

Cubs management is aware of the status of the Chicago Cubs pitching and Theo Epstein mentioned that there is a strong possibility of making a trade and giving up some of Cubs’ talent to get a starting pitcher. There is an old adage of baseball, that in order to get a player, you have to give up talent too. That will probably happen in Chicago.

But right now, Bosio is the respected coach of the best pitching staff in the majors. And, knowing Bosio’s competitiveness, he wants to keep it humming.

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