Chicago Cubs: A Hickey is always better than lukewarm Chili

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Second-half turnaround bodes well for Hickey

While Cubs fans may have been unhappy with this swap as recently as June or July, the job the pitchers did in the second half more than justifies bringing Hickey in last offseason.

The 57-year-old Chicago native appears to be the golden child amongst the team’s coaching hires from the past year. With the aforementioned (and recently ousted) Chili Davis’ offense struggling to hit for power, most of the headlines focused on the bats’ shortcomings.

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Hickey also looks shiny and pristine after Bosio was unceremoniously fired from his new position after reportedly making insensitive comments toward a Tigers employee in June. Not to mention the fact Hickey lost 40 percent of his high-priced starting rotation and still got improved production down the stretch.

Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, the team’s two big ticket free agent signings Hickey was saddled with in his first year, basically gave the team nothing in the for the majority of the season. Darvish didn’t make a start after May 20. Chatwood, well, he was relentlessly ineffective before being shut down for the season himself.

Even with a depleted starting rotation, and a bullpen that lost Brandon Morrow, Brian Duensing, Carl Edwards Jr. and Pedro Strop at various points to injuries and key swingman, Mike Montgomery, to the rotation, the pitching didn’t just hold serve, they carried the team in August and September.