Tuesday brought the announcement of coaching assignments across the Cubs’ minor league system, with the big club and various affiliates issuing a flurry of press releases. Many of the names and roles are familiar, but there was one pretty significant change at Tennessee.
Michael Ryan was named Smokies manager after spending seven years with the Pirates organization. He previously managed Double-A Altoona, where he won an Eastern League title in 2017 and another division title in 2018. New pitching coach Charlie Haeger and hitting coach Chad Allen will join Ryan in .
Returning to manage Triple-A Iowa is Marty Pevey, who will be in his eighth year with the team. Steve Lerud will be back for his second season with Myrtle Beach and his third overall in the system. The legendary Buddy Bailey will be trying to win back-to-back titles with South Bend as he heads towards 2,200 career victories. Lance Rymel will be back at Eugene with pitching coach Armando Garbino in tow.
For more on the coaching staff assignments, you can check out the Cubs’ media release.
The subtle big news of the day was that the Cubs have renamed all their rookie league teams. Rather than have Cubs 1 and Cubs 2 in Arizona and the Dominican, they will have a Red team and a Blue team. Longtime Cubs player, coach, and MiLB manager Carmelo Martinez will be back at the helm in Arizona with the Blue group while Jimmy Gonzalez returns to Mesa after five seasons to manage the Red squad. Gonzalez was with Tennessee in 2019 after four seasons in South Bend.
The Cubs also announced a number of minor league coordinator assignments, including former Driveline instructor Casey Jacobson as coordinator of pitching development. James Ogden comes to the Cubs from Lipscomb University in Nashville as the coordinator of pitching performance and Cory Kennedy joins the organization as head of strength and conditioning and performance science
You can get more on those assignments, including familiar names like Chris Valaika and Doug Dascenzo, via the link above. Winter instructs are set to begin in a couple weeks, so all the changes the Cubs have made to their development infrastructure and philosophy will be put to the test in earnest. None of that will really be visible to those of us on the outside, but we should start getting more visibility come spring training.