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Chicago Cubs hire Rangers’ Anthony Iapoce as hitting coach

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs hired Anthony Iapoce as its major league hitting coach Monday, replacing the fired Chili Davis.

Iapoce had the same job for Texas the last three seasons, a span in which the Rangers ranked fifth in the American League in runs and fourth in home runs. The 2017 Rangers were the first MLB team with nine players to reach at least 17 homers in the same season.

The 45-year-old Iapoce spent the previous three years in the Cubs organization and the team said he is familiar with many members of the big league club.

Chicago won 95 games in a franchise-record fourth straight playoff season, but its offense was inconsistent. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League in scoring but managed one run or zero in 39 regular-season games. They scored just two runs over 22 innings in losing the NL Central tiebreaker game against Milwaukee and the NL wild-card game to Colorado.

Prior to joining the Cubs, Iapoce spent three seasons as the roving hitting coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays (2010-12) and was the hitting coach for the Marlins Single-A Jupiter affiliate from 2008-09. The former outfielder played 11 seasons in the minor leagues in the Brewers and Marlins organizations, as well as independent ball.

Davis was let go a year after he replaced John Mallee as part of a shake-up to manager Joe Maddon’s staff. Davis spent the previous six seasons as a hitting coach with Oakland and Boston.

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