Former MLB infielder Mark Loretta is Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s new bench coach, one of two moves announced Wednesday that appear to solidify what has been a fluid situation this offseason on Maddon’s staff coming off a 95-win season.
Loretta replaces Brandon Hyde, who left last month to become the Orioles manager after six seasons on the Cubs staff. Chicago also announced Wednesday that former MLB pitcher Bob Tewksbury has been named the team’s “mental skills coordinator,” a role he has held for the Giants and Red Sox.
The #Cubs today named Mark Loretta as bench coach.
Additionally, the Cubs have named Bob Tewksbury coordinator, mental skills. pic.twitter.com/ZsVQHzN6SS
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 2, 2019
Loretta, 47, joins pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce and assistant hitting coach Terrmel Sledge as new additions. Those moves come after pitching coach Jim Hickey stepped down, citing personal reasons, hitting coach Chili Davis was fired (he’s with the Mets now) and assistant hitting coach Andy Haines left to become the Brewers’ hitting coach.
Two other changes to the Cubs’ MLB staff this offseason: Chris Denorfia was named quality assurance coach and Mike Borzello — who serves as the team’s catching and strategy coach — added “associate pitching coach” to his job description, per Cubs.com.
The Cubs were 95-68 in 2018, finishing a game back of the Brewers in the NL Central, but lost a 13-inning NL wild card game at home for a disappointing end to their season.
Loretta, who starred collegiately at Northwestern in suburban Evanston, spent the past nine years in the Padres’ front office as a special assistant to baseball operations following a 15-year MLB playing career with the Brewers, Astros, Padres, Red Sox and Dodgers. He hit .295 in 1,726 games and was a two-time All-Star.
Tewksbury, 58, spent 13 MLB seasons with the Yankees, Cubs, Cardinals, Rangers, Padres and Twins, going 110-102 with a 3.92 ERA in 302 games and making one All-Star appearance. After retiring in 1998, he earned a master’s in sports psychology and counseling from Boston University and for all but one season since 2004 has focused on the mental side of the game, first with the Red Sox and most recently the Giants the past two seasons.