Cubs hitting coach Anthony Iapoce will look to deliver several bouncebacks.
There is no denying the Chicago Cubs roster is uncertain looking onto the 2021 season, but their coaching staff has been finalized. From the looks of it, there won’t be many significant changes in regards to who will be calling the shots behind the scenes.
David Ross will be returning for his second season as skipper with the club after being named a finalist for NL Manager of the Year last year. Craig Driver will be returning as first base coach, and Andy Green will be returning as bench coach. Tommy Hottovy will be returning as pitching coach, and Mike Borzello will be returning as assistant pitching coach.
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Along with that group, Anthony Iapoce will be returning as hitting coach for the North Siders. While all of the coaches will face pressure in their respective areas for their players to improve in 2021, Iapoce will be receiving an immense amount of pressure. The 47-year-old was previously the team’s special assistant to the general manager for player development from 2013 to 2015. From 2016 to 2018, Iapoce was the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers, and then, he rejoined the team as hitting coach in 2019 and has been back in Chicago since.
Throughout the 2020 abbreviated 60-game season, the Chicago Cubs struggled offensively. A large part of the 2016 World Series championship core, including Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo, all barely hit over the Mendoza line. In Kyle Schwarber’s case, he didn’t even do that . Schwarber slashed .188/.308/.701 over the course of the 2020 season. Considering his numbers and the Cub’s financial state, the team non-tendered the 27-year old outfielder, who then signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
In terms of a newer piece of the puzzle, Nico Hoerner was brought up to the bigs in 2019. and found pretty immediate success at the dish. In 2020, however, he slashed .222/.312/.259. Instead of improving, it seems as if Hoerner took a step backward. While it is hard to gauge a player’s performance from an irregular season as 2020 was, it is still concerning that a bunch of superstar players had struggled so mightily on the offensive last season.
With these players in mind, Anthony Iapoce will be under a lot of pressure in 2021 as many are going to be looking for improvements, especially among the team’s stars. As a hitting coach who has experience in the sector of player development, hopefully, Iapoce can further develop his players, and there are, in fact, improvements next season.