(CBS) The Cubs have hired John Mallee as their new hitting coach, they announced Thursday afternoon.
The 45-year-old Mallee come to Chicago after two seasons in Houston, where he helped a young Astros team improve in the majority of their offensive metrics. Mallee also previously worked as the Marlins’ hitting coach and in the minor leagues of their organization.
Mallee is a Chicago native.
Eric Hinske, formerly the Cubs’ first-base coach, has now been named the team’s assistant hitting coach. Former Cubs player Doug Dascenzo will become the team’s first-base/outfield coach.
It’s unclear how these hirings affect the Cubs’ interest in Manny Ramirez, who has a close relationship with the front office and had a successful stint in helping the team’s young prospects at Triple-A Iowa, where he was a player/coach last season. The Cubs had interest in bringing Ramirez on for a role with the big league club, according to multiple reports, but they first would need him to officially retire as a player.
Chris Bosio (pitching coach), Brandon Hyde (bench coach), Gary Jones (third base/infield coach), Lester Strode (bullpen coach), Mike Borzello (catching and strategy coach), Jose Castro (quality assurance coach) and Franklin Font (staff assistant) will also return to the Cubs’ coaching staff in 2015 in their same roles.