Chicago Cubs Rumors: The door could be open for David Ross
The Chicago Cubs have parted ways with their pitching coach Chris Bosio. Assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske took the main gig in Anaheim, and Dave Martinez could be taking a managerial position soon. Is the door open for David Ross?
There are many different reasons for coaching changes at the major league level. The Chicago Cubs are going through that currently as they’re figuring out where they stand as far as coaches and players. They parted ways with pitching coach Chris Bosio. There are so many reasons that might have happened. But I think the main one is Jim Hickey. Joe Maddon had him on staff in Tampa Bay, and now he’s available.
Do the Cubs have insider information on Hickey’s preference? Maybe. But with him and so many other solid pitching coaches available, the change was one the Cubs felt they needed to make.
In the case of Eric Hinske, he got the opportunity for the hitting coach job with the Anaheim Angels. It’s funny that Hinske got the job offer, and the Cubs are sitting on John Mallee thinking “dang it.” Mallee helped turn Jose Altuve into a top-tier hitter; there’s no doubt about that. But after he departed, Altuve kept hitting. Maybe he was solid in the guidance, but Altuve was naturally bound to be a great hitter.
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What if Martinez goes?
Then you have Dave Martinez. In my opinion, we’re lucky to have him in Chicago. And I think Maddon would agree with that. The Washington Nationals are interviewing Martinez for the managerial gig, and there might not be a better job for him to take. The Nats were one game away from the NLCS, and he will inherit much of that team if he takes that job. The chances of Martinez being part of the Cubs’ staff much longer are dwindling.
The Cubs might be keying in on a pitching coach. But what about an assistant hitting coach? Or who would become Maddon’s right-hand man? What about David Ross? He was a special assistant to baseball operations for the Cubs last season. On top of that, he stayed connected to the game as an analyst for ESPN. As an 18-year veteran of the game, it’s widely believed that any job he takes would be a precursor to a managerial job down the road.
Ross is more than a mascot
This isn’t about what he was to the 2016 Cubs alone. Ross is a leader in the clubhouse. The “Grandpa Rossy” bit was endearing, and the Cubs–including Anthony Rizzo–thought very highly of him. But while all of that was fun and games, Ross knows the game. He’s been a part of two World Series teams–the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. His experience could help him to guide this Cubs team that seemed a bit fractured and get them back on top.
How the Cubs approach the potential loss of Martinez will give us an indication of where they want to go with the organization. The “circle of trust” that the Cubs keep within their ranks is something special. I don’t think there’s any question that Ross is already established within that. If he’s ready to step back into the dugout next season, the Cubs might have a job for him.
Either job for Ross would be a step in the right direction. If he’s not ready to commit the time and effort just yet? The assistant hitting coach would be perfect. Maybe it’s just what Ross needs to see if he’s ready just yet, or if time with family is what he needs more.
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The Cubs never did seem to find their way this season. And that’s not bad considering they won back-to-back Central titles. But something was missing. Some people think it was a leadoff man. But this Cubs team finished second in runs scored. But maybe, just maybe what they need is another dose of “Grandpa Rossy.” It worked once. No reason to think it can’t happen again.