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‘MLB’ Articles

Cubs name former MLB stars Mark Loretta, Bob Tewksbury to 2019 Coaching Staff



The Chicago Cubs earlier this month named Mark Loretta as bench coach to replace Brandon Hyde, who last month departed the organization to become manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Additionally, the Cubs have named Bob Tewksbury as coordinator, mental skills.

Loretta is a 15-year major league veteran who has spent the last nine seasons in the San Diego Padres front office upon retiring as a player in January, 2010, most recently as a special assistant, baseball operations. Loretta was a two-time All-Star infielder with the Padres (2004) and Boston Red Sox (2006) during his career with the Milwaukee Brewers (1995-2002), Houston Astros (2002, 2007-08), Padres (2003-05), Red Sox (2006) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009).

Loretta is a 1993 graduate of Northwestern University. He was drafted by the Brewers in the seventh round of the 1993 Draft and made his big league debut two years later. Loretta was a career .295 hitter (1,713-for-5,812) with 309 doubles, 76 home runs and 629 RBI in 1,726 major league games.

Tewksbury enters his 38th year in professional baseball, which includes 13 years as a major league pitcher and 15 years in mental skills. During his big league career, Tewksbury spent time with six different teams (1986-98), including parts of two seasons with the Cubs from 1987-88. He was an All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1992.

Upon retiring as a player, Tewksbury earned his B.S. in physical education from St. Leo University (2000) and his Master’s of Education in Sport Psychology and Counseling from Boston University (2004). He spent 10 years as the Mental Skills coordinator for the Red Sox from 2004-13, was the Director of Player Development for the MLB Players Association in 2014, returned to the Red Sox for two seasons from 2015-16 and most recently served as mental performance coach for the San Francisco Giants from 2017-18.

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Cubs announce 2019 Minor League Coordinators



The Chicago Cubs last week announced their minor league coordinators for the 2019 season.

Jeremy Farrell begins his first year as the organization’s minor league field coordinator and his fourth as a coach with the organization. He last season was the minor league infield coordinator following two seasons as a hitting coach, first with Rookie League Mesa in 2016 and then with Single-A South Bend in 2017. Farrell enjoyed a seven-year minor league playing career as an infielder in the Pirates (2008-12) and White Sox (2013-15) farm systems. His brother, Shane, is a regional supervisor in the amateur scouting department.

Brendan Sagara returns for his second season as minor league pitching coordinator. He was a coach or coordinator in the Marlins system for six seasons from 2012-17, and has served as a pitching coach or coordinator for 18 seasons with various teams, beginning with the Dubois County Dragons of the Frontier League in 2001. A native of Hawaii, he attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Chris Valaika begins his first season as minor league hitting coordinator after serving as Triple-A Iowa’s assistant hitting coach in 2018. Now in his third year as a coach or coordinator in the Cubs system, Valaika had a 10-year playing career, including parts of four seasons in the majors with the Reds (2010-11), Marlins (2013) and the Cubs (2014). Valaika was selected by Cincinnati in the third round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Jonathan Mota starts his first year as minor league infield coordinator, and his fourth season as a coach or coordinator with the organization. He last year managed the Rookie League Mesa 2 squad following coaching duties with Single-A South Bend in 2017. Mota played in the Cubs system from 2004-15 after he was originally signed by the club in August of 2003.

Doug Dascenzo is in his fifth year as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator, bringing with 20 years of coaching experience. He played parts of seven seasons in the majors, including five with the Cubs (1988-92). He coached in the Padres system from 1999-2011, including six seasons as a minor league manager, before coaching in the Braves system from 2012-14, including third base coach for the big league team in 2014.

Dave Keller begins his 16th year in the organization and his fifth as minor league Latin America field coordinator. He brings with 34 years of minor league coaching and managerial experience, and managed three clubs to championship series appearances, including a Florida State League title with Single-A Daytona in 2013. The former first baseman played in the Reds chain for three seasons (1982-84) after Cincinnati selected him in the 28th round of the 1982 Draft.

Mike Mason is in his 12th year in the system and his sixth as minor league assistant pitching coordinator, bringing with over 25 years of coaching experience. He served as Triple-A Iowa’s pitching coach from 2008-13 after serving four seasons as the Royals minor league pitching coordinator from 2004-07. Mason played seven major league seasons with Texas (1982-87), the Cubs (1987) and Minnesota (1988), posting a 29-39 record with a 4.53 ERA.

Carlos Chantres begins his first year with the organization as minor league assistant pitching coordinator and his 14th as a coach, coordinator or special assistant. He spent the past two years with Atlanta, including as a special assistant to player development in 2018, after stints coaching in the Tigers (2015) and Mariners (2016) chains. Chantres spent nine seasons coaching in the Yankees system (2006-14) after 12 minor league seasons (1994-2005) pitching with the
White Sox (1994-2000), Brewers (2001), Devil Rays (2002) and Phillies (2004-05) organizations.

Tom Beyers starts his 20th season in the Cubs organization and his fifth as assistant hitting coordinator. He joined Chicago in 2000 following 21 seasons in the Dodgers minor league system as a player, coach and manager. Beyers managed nine seasons in both the Dodgers and Cubs chains, and he led Single-A Boise to a Northwest League title in 2004. Beyers, a former outfielder, was selected by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 1979 Draft.

Chuck Baughman enters his 19th year with the Cubs and his second as the head minor league athletic training coordinator. He was assistant athletic training coordinator from 2014-17 following eight years as a rehabilitation coordinator. His career in professional baseball began in 1999 when he an athletic training in Cincinnati’s organization.

Doug Jarrow is in his 12th season as Chicago’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. He worked in the Dodgers system from 2003-07, including 2006-07 as the major league strength coach. Jarrow began his career as a minor league strength and conditioning coach with Tampa Bay in 1998 and Pittsburgh in 1999.

Jon Fierro is in his eighth year with the organization and his second as the club’s rehab coordinator. From 2012-17 he was an athletic trainer in the system, including 2017 with Triple-A Iowa.

Ron Villone starts his eighth season as a coach in the Cubs organization, returning as the team’s minor league rehab pitching coordinator for the fourth season. He served as a pitching coach at various levels from 2012-15. A left-handed pitcher, he played in 15 major league seasons from 1995-2009, going 61-65 with eight saves and a 4.73 ERA.

Josh Lifrak is in his fifth season as the organization’s director, mental skills program following 10 years as the Senior Mental Conditioning Consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island in 1994 and earned his Masters of Science, Exercise Science in 2005 from Ithaca College.

David Da Silva starts his second year as coordinator, mental skills after nine years as a mental conditioning consultant for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New Hampshire College/Southern New Hampshire University in 2000 and earned a Master of Science in Movement Science from Barry University in 2003.

Ray Fuentes begins his seventh season in the organization, and his fifth as Latin coordinator, mental skills program. He graduated from Barry University in 2002 with a degree in Exceptional Student Education.

John Baker is in his fourth season as a mental skills coordinator after joining the Cubs front office in November of 2015 as a baseball operations assistant. He played seven major league seasons with Florida (2008-11), San Diego (2012-13) and the Cubs (2014).

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Chicago Cubs announce 2019 Minor League Staffs



The Chicago Cubs recently announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for the 2019 season. Four managers return to their same teams as last season while all nine managers were in Chicago’s organization last year. A detailed list of each club’s managers and coaching staffs are included on the following page, and more information on returning members of the organization may be found on pages 198-222 of the Chicago Cubs 2018 Media Guide.

Marty Pevey returns for his 11th season in the organization and his seventh as manager for Triple-A Iowa and brings with over 30 years of professional experience, beginning with 13 years as a player. He was named the 2009 Midwest League co-Manager of the Year with Single-A Peoria.

Mark Johnson begins his fourth season as Double-A Tennessee’s manager, and his ninth in the organization. Johnson’s clubs have reached the postseason in four of his first eight minor league managerial campaigns, including a Midwest League title with Single-A Kane County in 2014 and a Mills Cup Championship with Single-A Myrtle Beach in 2015.

Jimmy Gonzalez takes the helm of Single-A Myrtle Beach following four seasons managing Single-A South Bend. The 2016 Midwest League Manager of the Year with South Bend, Gonzalez was Rookie League Mesa’s manager in 2014 following a season as the club’s hitting coach.

Buddy Bailey begins his first season as manager at Single-A South Bend following three campaigns as manager for Myrtle Beach. He enters his 31st season as a minor league manager with 2,064 regular season victories, and in 2017 became just the 11th minor league manager to reach the 2,000-win plateau.

Steven Lerud starts his second season as manager for Single-A Eugene after guiding the Emeralds to the 2018 Northwest League Championship in his first career managerial or coaching stint. He played 13 minor league seasons from 2004-16 and appeared in nine major league games with the Phillies in 2012-13.

Carmelo Martinez is in his 22nd season in the Cubs organization, and returns to manage Rookie League Mesa for the fifth-straight year. The team has reached the Arizona League playoffs each of the last four seasons. Martinez is a former outfielder/first baseman who played in the majors from 1983-91, seeing action with the Cubs in 1983.

Lance Rymel is the manager of the club’s second Rookie League Mesa team after two seasons managing the organization’s Dominican Summer League club. He began his coaching career in 2016 as Mesa’s rehab coach following a three-year minor league playing career as a catcher in the Cubs chain from 2012-14.

Leo Perez takes over as manager for the first of Chicago’s two Dominican Summer League teams, and is in his 11th season in the organization. He served as a coach in Mesa each of the previous two seasons and was a coach with Iowa in 2016. He played in the Cubs farm system from 2003-08.

Carlos Ramirez will manage the second Dominican Summer League team and is in his fourth season with the organization. He was a coach for the Dominican League club the previous three years following three seasons as a catcher in the system from 2012-14.

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Cubs name former MLB pitcher Craig Breslow Director of Strategic Initiatives, Baseball Operations





Craig Breslow pitching with Oakland 2011 photo By Keith Allison on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

Jan. 14th, 2019

The Chicago Cubs have named Craig Breslow as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations.

Breslow, 38, recently completed a 12-year major league pitching career that saw him make 576 appearances, all but two in relief, with seven different clubs, including a 2013 World Championship with the Boston Red Sox. He is a 2002 graduate of Yale University with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.

In his role with the Cubs, Breslow will help to evaluate and implement data-based processes throughout all facets of Baseball Operations. He will also support the organization’s pitching infrastructure in Player Development and the major leagues.

Breslow is a native of New Haven, Conn. and was originally selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 26th round of the 2002 Draft, making his big league debut three years later with the Padres. In addition to San Diego (2005), Breslow pitched for Boston (2006, 2012-15), Cleveland (2008, 2017), Minnesota (2008-09, 2017), Oakland (2009-11), Arizona (2012) and Miami (2016), reaching 60 appearances six times and posting a career year with Boston in its World Series season of 2013 (5-2, 1.81 ERA, 61 outings).

Read more: Chicago Cubs


Cubs’ Play-by-Play announcer Pat Hughes named 2018 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year




Pat Hughes 2011 photo By Garrett Craig from Madison, WI, CC BY 2.0, https

Jan. 14th, 2019

    Chicago Cubs Radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes has been named the 2018 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.

    “I’d like to dedicate this award to three special co-workers,” said Hughes. “The Operations Director of 670 The Score, Mitch Rosen, also the Executive Producer of Cubs Radio. And, to my two very talented and congenial booth partners, Ron Coomer and Zach Zaidman. Those three men have a great deal to do with this award.”

    This is Hughes’ 12th Sportscaster of the Year honor and his ninth in Illinois, having previously won the award in 1996, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Hughes was honored as the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year three consecutive years ending in 1992.

    Pat is entering his 24th season as the Radio Voice of the Cubs, and his sixth year with Coomer. The 2019 season marks his 37th consecutive season as a Big League broadcaster.

    Read more: Chicago Cubs


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