Chicago Cubs: Anthony Iapoce gets axed as team begins overhaul
Stop me if you’re heard this before. The Chicago Cubs are on the hunt for a new hitting coach. According to multiple reports, including FanSided’s own Robert Murray, the team is expected to part ways with hitting coach Anthony Iapoce.
We’ll likely get more details in Jed Hoyer’s end-of-season presser on Wednesday but the decision was said to be mutual.
Iapoce, 48, has been the North Side’s hitting coach for the past three seasons. He was hired under former Cubs manager Joe Maddon and even after David Ross took over, Iapoce continued his tenure with the team. Before joining Chicago in this specific role, he spent three years with the team as a special assistant to the general manager working with the team’s minor league hitting program from 2013 to 2015.
After that, Iapoce took the role of Texas Rangers hitting coach from 2016 to 2018, which was his first role on a major league coaching staff. From there, the Cubs saw what they needed and brought Iapoce back on, but this time as the big league hitting coach. Thus, Iapoce marked the Cubs’ seventh hitting coach across the last 11 seasons. Not only that, Chicago has run through six assistant hitting coaches, to boot.
Chicago Cubs: Offensive struggles continue as the team fires hitting coach
There is no denying the club’s immense offensive struggles and inconsistencies, especially during the 2021 season. Chicago finished at 71-91, the seventh-worst record in MLB and were well below average in almost every offensive category – including runs per game, strikeouts and on-base percentage.
At times, as has been the case in recent years, the offense turned in its fair share of hot streaks. But there were also too many instances of runs where the bats couldn’t get anything going, too – and that played a role in not one, but two, double-digit losing streaks that doomed the Cubs’ season.
The inconsistencies and one particularly egregious losing streak in late June and early July led to Hoyer tearing the roster down to the studs at the deadline. But a hungry, ragtag group of replacements like Frank Schwindel, Patrick Wisdom and Rafael Ortega came in during the second half and gave us some bright spots as far as the offense goes. Now, whether or not its sustainable moving forward remains to be seen.
If you ask me, the team’s abysmal record and lack of offense combined with the trend toward change had a part in this decision. Regardless what is said today in the press conference and who the next hitting coach is; hopefully, this move brings the Chicago Cubs one step closer to contention.