(CBS) The Cubs have named Will Venable as their new first-base coach and Jim Benedict as a special assistant to baseball operations, they announced Tuesday afternoon.
The team also confirmed that hiring of Jim Hickey as pitching coach and Brandon Hyde’s promotion from first-base coach to bench coach, two moves that had previously been reported.
Venable, 35, retired earlier this year after a nine-year playing career and had been serving in a front-office role for the Cubs before the decision to move to the dugout now. He was a career .249 hitter.
Benedict, 56, spent the past two seasons as the Marlins’ vice president for pitching development. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons with the Pirates in various roles. He’s also worked for the Indians (2007-’08) and Yankees (2001-’06) as a scout. He had a three-year minor league career.
The Cubs’ coaching staff has seen a major overhaul since the end of the 2017 season. Pitching coach Chris Bosio, hitting coach John Mallee and third-base coach Gary Jones were let go. Bench coach Davey Martinez then left to become the Nationals’ manager, and assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske left for a promotion with the Angels. Quality control coach Henry Blanco then followed Martinez to join his Nationals staff.