Following the departure of Brandon Hyde, the Chicago Cubs hired Mark Loretta as the bench coach and Bob Tewksbury as the new mental skills coordinator.
Today the Chicago Cubs announced the newest coaching staff additions. The club tapped Mark Loretta, a former prominent big leaguer and San Diego Padres front office executive as their new bench coach and also added the experienced Bob Tewksbury, who enters his 38th year in the game.
Chicago recently experienced the loss of bench coach Brandon Hyde, who previously served as the team’s first base coach, most prominently in 2016 during the championship winning season. The Baltimore Orioles made Hyde an offer he couldn’t refuse, making him their next manager.
In need of a new mental skills coordinator, Tewksbury returns to Chicago, where he starred as a former player on the North Side between 1987-88. He began his coaching career with the Boston Red Sox, serving in the same position for almost a decade.
What to expect
Once the news broke, initial reactions were overwhelmingly positive. On social media, it is apparent that most people throughout the game. have nothing but resepct for Loretta.
For Tewksbury, serving in the same role he held in Boston between 2004-13, allows him the opportunity to reunite with left-handed ace Jon Lester.
Tewksbury also served as the Director of Player Development for the MLB Players Association the year after he left Boston. Following a year in that position, he returned to Boston for two years before ultimately moving on to serving as the mental performance coach for the San Francisco Giants the past two seasons.
Within the last month, rumors swirled about the possible reunion for David Ross as the new bench coach, as well as another former prominent Cub Mark DeRosa. Theo Epstein did not pursue this as DeRosa will remain with MLB Network, and Ross recently signed a multi-year deal with ESPN.
In Joe We Trust
As the old mantra “In Theo We Trust” goes, the new mantra for 2019 should shift to “In Joe We Trust.” As things crumbled in the final week of the 2018 regular season, we all wondered whose head would roll on the Cubs coaching staff.
In turns out both pitching coach Jim Hickey and hitting coach Chili Davis were to pay the price (either directly or indirectly) – along with some other members of the staff who moved on after last year.
Luckily, and thankfully, it is apparent now that Epstein trusts manager Joe Maddon with the decision to bring on Loretta and Tewksbury. The decision could have been easy for Epstein, coaxing Ross or DeRosa with just enough to get them to bite. Epstein may have even been tempted with former big league skippers like John Farrell – which could have deepened the target on Maddon’s back. He did not do that, however, showing his trust in Maddon.
Maddon’s contract is set to expire after this year, and many have wondered if an extension is in the future. Theo Epstein has moved the proverbial managerial needle in Maddon’s favor, plain and simple. Bypassing a hire with experience or a big name, shows the level of trust that exists between Theo and Joe – despite the tumultuous rumor mill of this offseason.