By all indications, it has nothing to do with job performance, but regardless, the Cubs' late-season collapse likely did Craig Driver and Chris Young no favors as, down the stretch, Chicago squandered postseason odds that sat in the low 90% range in early September.
Both men have been with manager David Ross since he took the reins back in 2020, finishing third in NL Manager of the Year voting during the shortened COVID season. But given the struggles of the bullpen off and on throughout the year, it makes sense Ross might look for a new voice heading into a 2024 season that will go a long way toward determining whether or not he has a long-term future with the club.
According to The Athletic, the changes are due to a shift in organizational philosophy - and we'll be able to draw more connections on just what those changes might look like once the replacements for both are announced.
Adding some new perspectives could help the Cubs adapt and improve
One of the biggest knocks against the Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein-led Cubs teams post-2016 was their seeming inability to continue evolving and adapting to the shifts in the game. By the time they came to this realization, the shortcomings of the team had been laid bare and, shortly thereafter, both men were closing up shop on their time in Chicago.
The game has continued to move at a torrid pace in the last decade and the teams at the forefront of that change continue to be October staples: the Astros and Dodgers, of course, are the two most obvious examples - although their respective pipelines of young talent surely haven't hurt matters either.
The Cubs will stick with Ross for at least one more year as their shot-caller. But the hope is some fresh eyes can help the team build on its much improved play over 2022 and return to October baseball for the first time in a full 162-game season since 2018.