Will Venable, a longtime part of the Cubs staff, is reportedly headed to Boston.
Will Venable spent parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues as a player, most of it with the San Diego Padres. He also played briefly for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. After his playing career ended in 2016, he transitioned to an off-field role. The Cubs gave him his first job as special assistant to the president in 2017. Venable moved back to the diamond for the 2018 season and beyond. He was the first base coach for 2018 and 2019, but shifted to third base for 2020.
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Now, he is in line for another promotion, as the Boston Red Sox are set to name Venable as their next bench coach. Venable has been highly regarded throughout the game for some time, as he interviewed for the Red Sox manager position before it went to Alex Cora this winter, and the familiarity is there with Boston. Venable has interviewed in the past for managerial vacancies as well, with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, and even the Cubs.
Venable’s baseball lineage goes back to when he was just a kid. His father, Max, played 12 years in the Major Leagues, so he grew up around the game. Venable attended Princeton where he was a two-sport athlete, playing basketball and baseball. In today’s day and age of baseball, being smart goes a long way when working in a front office or even serving on a coaching staff.
With how fast Venable has moved through the front office/coaching ranks, it’s safe to assume that he is in tune with the modern analytical approach that front offices have taken and has a grasp on the analytical stats that have taken over the game.
Theo Epstein walked away from the Cubs this week, and had some things to say about how analytics have changed the game.
Venable has also been a part of the analytical movement, as has Cora, so the new challenge in baseball is for front offices and coaching staffs to find new advantages with the analytics. An Ivy League graduate isn’t a bad candidate to help with that, huh? It’s not often people rise this fast through the coaching ranks, so good for him.
Venable obviously didn’t land any of the manager jobs, but given he is just 38 and is well respected in baseball circles, his time as a manager will come – likely sooner rather than later. With all of the interviews he has had already and the connections he’s building with other front offices, he will get his chance. Venable, like his former boss David Ross, will be a heck of a manager one day, and one that teams should be chomping at the bit to hire in years to come.