Chicago Cubs: A youthful hire to perhaps lead the youth Cubs core.
When Hickey announced his departure, many rumors tabbed former Red Sox pitching coach and manager John Farrell as the front-runner to succeed Hickey on the North Side.
As a former World Series-winning skipper, Farrell’s connections to Boston and, thus, Theo Epstein and Jon Lester, didn’t hurt matters. His son, Luke Farrell, also pitched in 20 games with the Cubs in 2018 before being dealt to the Los Angeles Angels.
But, in perhaps the most surprising offseason move (barring a Bryce Harper signing), the organization hired 37-year-old Tommy Hottovy this month as their new pitching coach. Only a few years older than pitchers like Lester and Cole Hamels, he has acted as a run prevention coordinator for the team since 2015.
Despite a career that saw just a total of 17 appearances, eight strikeouts, eight walks, and a 4.05 ERA in 13 1/3 innings, the organization touts Hottovy as being an integral part of the clubhouse during his time in the video scouting/coaching side of the game.
Will this young coach thrive and help the question marks of the pitching staff such as Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood and Brandon Morrow? Will he have a prodigal rise to success or will this head-scratching move place Hottovy heavily under the microscope and in danger of being just another casualty of the Chicago Cubs coaching staff as in years past?
Time will only tell and we’ll have to wait until next season but this hire definitely serves as one of the most intriguing parts going into the 2019 season.