By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey will interview for the same position with the Cubs on Monday, sources confirmed to 670 The Score.
Hickey left the Rays at the end of this past season after spending 11 years in Tampa Bay, the first eight working under Joe Maddon before the latter took over as manager as the Cubs. The 56-year-old Hickey has already had conversations with the Cardinals and Red Sox about their vacant pitching coach positions as well, sources said.
Hickey has compiled a quality resume in his coaching career. In Tampa Bay, the Rays finished in the top five of the American League in team ERA in eight of the past 10 seasons. Prior to his time in Tampa Bay, Hickey spent 2 1/2 seasons as Houston’s pitching coach. The Astros finished second in the National League in team ERA under Hickey’s guidance in both 2005 and 2006.
Hickey is also widely respected for his work developing young pitchers and has a reputation for getting the best out of relievers who have fallen on hard times. That attribute could prove beneficial for the Cubs, who helplessly watched as reliever Justin Wilson flopped and lost his control after being acquired in a trade deadline deal. Hector Rondon has also gone through some ups and downs with the Cubs. Both could use some new direction.
The Cubs’ job opened when they chose to not renew the contract of Chris Bosio over the weekend. Bosio has been contacted by multiple teams already about a new job, according to sources.
If Hickey goes elsewhere, the Cubs may go with a lower-profile name in their quest for another pitching guru. The Cubs’ pitching support system is highly respected within the game. Bullpen coach Lester Strode, catching and scouting coordinator Mike Borzello and run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy are considered experts in pitching preparation and player relationships.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.