By Bruce Levine–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio was informed during an exit meeting Friday that he won’t be retained by the organization, multiple sources confirmed.
Bosio had been the team’s pitching coach since 2012. His contract had run out, and the Cubs didn’t offer a new deal. USA Today first reported the news Saturday.
The Cubs’ pitching staff had thrived under Bosio’s guidance in recent seasons, including during a dominant 2016 championship season in which left-hander Jon Lester and right-hander Kyle Hendricks each finished in the top three of the Cy Young voting. Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta won the Cy Young award in 2015.
In 2017, the Cubs had a team 3.95 ERA, which ranked seventh in baseball. But their penchant for walking batters, notably among those in the bullpen, hurt the team greatly in the playoffs, where the Cubs exited at the hands of the Dodgers in five games in the National League Championship Series. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein recently acknowledged the wildness was a “systemic” issue for the team that needed addressed in the form of “personnel” and “approach.”
Bosio should have a great opportunity to latch on to a new team. The Nationals, Giants and Rays have all parted ways with their pitching coaches in recent days.
Bosio was instrumental in the development of Arrieta and Hendricks. Arrieta was a reclamation project acquired from the Orioles in a trade in July 2013. Since then, he’s gone 68-31 with a 2.73 ERA under Bosio’s tutelage.
In Tampa Bay, it was Jim Hickey who left the position. He had been the Rays’ pitching coach since 2007, working the first eight years of that tenure with Cubs manager Joe Maddon while he was in Tampa Bay. A Chicago native, Hickey is drawing interest from the Cardinals already for their vacant pitching coach position.
Another name to consider for the Cubs’ pitching coach job is John Farrell, who was recently fired as Red Sox manager. Farrell was on the Red Sox’s coaching staff from 2007-’10, when Epstein was in charge in Boston. Farrell’s son Luke was picked up off waivers by the Cubs in early October. Another son of his, Shane, is a scout for the Cubs.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.