Of all of the interesting facts that I could find about the additions to the Cubs’ Coaching Staff under new Manager Dale Sveum, the one I found most interesting is that all of them have worked on staffs of division rivals in their past.
Their past is not the relevant part of the discussion. The relevant discussion points regarding new coaches, Chris Bosio (Pitching), Dave McKay (First Base), and Jamie Quirk (Bench) is what they can teach the plethora of youth on the roster. All of the coaches, including the holdovers, have a great deal of experience as coaches at the major league level. Clearly, Dale Sveum wanted to surround himself with knowledge to make his transition to managing happen more smoothly…and it was the first of hopefully many good decision.
New Coaches for 2012
Pitching Coach: Chris Bosio – Bosio’s Wisconsin roots run deep, having pitched for the Brewers, coached and scouted for the Brewers, and been a coach at UW-Oshkosh and Lawrence University in Appleton. He moves south to take over pitchers for the Cubs, replacing Mark Riggins after one season. He is in his third stint overall as a MLB Pitching Coach. Bosio subscribes to the new regime’s methods of statistical analysis, and had charted each pitchers tendencies before Spring Training and left a copy in each pitcher’s locker before the first workout. He is left with the unenviable task of turning around a group that ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every category last season and will need a much stronger showing to improve on the teams 71 win showing last season.
First Base Coach: Dave McKay– Cubs’ fans should know this name well. He has been one of Tony LaRussa’s right hands in St. Louis for years. McKay is generally regarded as one of, if not the, best First Base Coaches in baseball. The base running was awful last season, and it will be on McKay and new Third Base Coach Pat Listach (moved from Bench
Coach after last season) to help the base runners make better decisions and exercise the aggressiveness that Sveum wants to see out of his runners. In addition to base coaching, McKay serves as the primary Outfield Instructor, and according to Manager Dale Sveum, he has taken a keen interest in LF Alfonso Soriano. With so many young players, however, he will have a vital role in his capacities on the bases and in helping the outfield defense.
Bench Coach: Jamie Quirk – Every new Manager needs an experienced Bench Coach, and Quirk is nothing if not experienced. He has been in professional baseball for 37 seasons before 2012, and has been a Bench Coach for 12 years, in two different stints. He was the Royals’ Bench Coach from 1996-2001 and the Rockies’ Bench Coach from 2003-2008 under Clint Hurdle. Quirk spent time as a major league player with St. Louis and Milwaukee, amongst others, and he will bring experience to the bench to assist Dale Sveum in growing into his role as a Manager, and help the crop of young catchers learn to handle a young pitching staff.
Hitting Coach: Rudy Jaramillo
Third Base Coach: Pat Listach (2011 Bench Coach under Mike Quade)
Bullpen Coach: Lester Strode