The Chicago Cubs let go of pitching coach Chris Bosio and hitting coach John Mallee at the end of last season after both had enjoyed success in Chicago.
In last seasons NLCS when the Cubs went down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, manager Joe Maddon was asked if he expects all of his coaches to return next year.
With the season on the brink of being finished, some of the local media outlets had shifted their attention to next year.
Maddon answered emphatically that he expects all of his coaches to return, commending the group for their comradery.
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A couple of weeks later Bosio, Mallee, and third base coach Gary Jones were all let go. Theo Epstein called the moves a “group decision” at the time.
The Cubs were just one year removed from a World Series Championship. And had been to the NLCS for each of the last three seasons. It didn’t feel like the right time for a coaching overhaul, but the front office felt like the team could use a change; fine.
Success for Bosio and Mallee
Bosio was the last remaining piece of the Dale Sveum tenure in Chicago. In his time with the Cubs, he worked under the different managers.
His hard-nosed mentality never meshed with Maddon’s happy-go-lucky attitude, but the results spoke for themselves.
He turned Jake Arrietta from a bust to a Cy Young award winner, and help Kyle Hendricks turn into one of the most respected pitchers in the National League. His rotation was the best in baseball in 2016, and they carried their team to a title.
Mallee came over to the Cubs in 2015; he worked to get results from young players such as Addison Russell and Javier Baez, while also helping Kris Bryant during his rise to one of the elite hitters in the game.
Bottom line: both of these coaches played an integral part in a World Series Championship team.
Both Bosio and Mallee had no problems landing other jobs. Bosio is with the Tigers, and Mallee landed with the Phillies. Both under the same positions that they held with the Cubs.
Who they were replaced by
Maddon knew Hickey from his time with the Tampa Bay Rays and Epstein felt that he couldn’t pass up on Davis.
Results thus far
Through the first 28 games of the season, there have been some flaws to the Cubs pitching and hitting units.
The pitching has been solid, but Yu Darvish has yet to hit his stride with his new team. He sports an even six ERA through his first five starts. And he has yet to record a win.
The lineup has also struggled to get going. We’ve seen some sparks from Baez and Albert Almora, and well as great hitting from Kris Bryant, but it hasn’t clicked yet. The team has not scored over three runs over the past eight games, Ian Happ looks lost at the plate, and Jason Heyward continues to be disappointing.
Give it time
I know, it’s only been 28 games. It would be unfair and wildly premature to throw Hickey and Davis under the bus just yet, especially when the Cubs have a solid 16-12 record.
However, the Cubs front office made a decision to let go of two very good coaches. And Cubs fans know that this team is capable of much more than they’ve shown in the early part of the season. Chicago needs to see some results. Otherwise, the blame lies at the feet of the two new coaches.