Chicago Cubs finally fill out Joe Maddon's staff
A month after parting ways with pitching coach Chris Bosio, the Chicago Cubs have finally filled all the positions on manager Joe Maddon's staff for the 2018 season.
As expected, the Cubs named former Tampa Bay coach Jim Hickey as pitching coach, promoted Brandon Hyde from first base coach to bench coach, and selected Will Venable as Maddon's first base coach.
Jim Benedict also has been hired as a special assistant to Baseball Operations, Cubs officials announced Tuesday.
While Maddon's staff was purged a few days after the Cubs lost the National League championship series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, the Cubs insisted the changes were the result of coaches becoming available and not due to any disappointment on the part of the coaching staff.
Cubs released hitting coach John Mallee and third-base coach Gary Jones after Bosio was let go. They hired Chili Davis as their new hitting coach and promoted Andy Haines as assistant hitting coach from his role as minor league hitting coordinator. Haines replaced Eric Hinske, who left to take the job as hitting coach of the Los Angeles Angels. Brian Butterfield was hired third-base coach. Both Davis and Butterfield were coaches with the Boston Red Sox under manager John Farrell, who was not brought back.
The 56-year-old Hickey spent 11 of his 15 MLB seasons with Tampa Bay. He and Maddon spent eight seasons together with the Rays.
Hyde, who was the Cubs bench coach in 2014 before Maddon was hired. has been the first base coach since 2015.
Venable, 35, joins the Cubs after a nine-year career as a major league career.
Benedict, 56, spent the past two seasons in the front office for the Marlins after serving seven seasons in the Pirates organization in a variety of roles.
Benedict began his pro scouting career with the Rangers in 1990.