The Cubs have announced that they have parted ways with hitting coach Chili Davis, as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune was among those to tweet. The long-time major leaguer lasted only one year on the job.
Last fall, the Cubbies brought Davis in along with several other new additions to the staff of manager Joe Maddon. He had served with the Red Sox before that field staff was broken up when the Sox fired skipper John Farrell.
It seems the Cubs have yet to make final determinations on other staff members. Maddon himself is entering the final year of his contract, of course. Despite some ongoing murmurs of internal friction, all indications are that he’ll remain in charge of the dugout for at least one more campaign. (See here and here.)
Cubs need a scapegoat…bye Chili
If at first you don’t succeed huh?
Agreed. In today’s video game world of home runs or strikeouts, how much does a hitting coach really add? I realize I’m simplifying things but with Boston he did fine. In 2017, was he responsible for Mookie’s sub par season or X-man’s wrist injury? Perhaps he could be blamed for Panda’s belly preventing a full swing. You get the idea. The Sox are much improved because of health and JDM who is my MVP. Players today respect each other more than coaches and JDM is more responsible for the lineup’s results than any batting coach. Fast forward to the Cubs. If Bryant is healthy next year, will whomever replaces Davis get the credit? I think not.
“The Sox are much improved because of health and JDM who is my MVP. Players today respect each other more than coaches, JDM more responsible for lineups results than any batting coach.”
Most complaint read about Chili here is doesn’t embrace the launch angle. Posted in Tim WAR piece; JDM credits launch angle saved career:
JDM played Winter League on Nov 2013, immediately, realized he’d forged a new career path. In his first round of BP he started launching ball after ball in the air, clearing the fences with ease from foul line to foul line.
“I was like, ‘What in the world? What is this?’ ” said Martinez. “I’m looking around like, ‘I’m cheating.’ Honest to God, I felt like I was cheating.” —First two games, he launched three homers teeing off pitches that beaten him before
Martinez was released March 2014 by Astros, and signed minor league deal with Detroit; went on to hit 33 homers in 140 games for Detroit’s Triple A and MLB teams that season. If Chili “anti-launch angle” was HC, chances are JDM is not JDM today
Great piece detailing how the launch angle (Which Chili Davis doesn’t use) saved JDM. Imagine if new HC emphasized launch angle and did half what it did to JDM, to Heyward?
And for the flip side…..Christian Yelich mlb.com/news/launch-angle-not-an-issue-to-christia…
There is always two sides.
Pretty cool stuff Cat! Did not know this, and Bookmarked story. Favorite line from piece:
“OK, but how do you do that? It’s not swinging up,” Yelich said. “If you’re not strong enough, launch angle is not your friend.”
Yelich explained in detail why, despite outside pressure, he’d resolved to stay the course. He didn’t deny the data, but disagreed with the wholesale approach. Yelich saw the launch-angle revolution as “a trend,” rather than as a sustainable model for success…”
“And Yelich saw strikeout rates rise along with home runs, and pitchers beginning to pepper the top of the strike zone with fastballs. He saw traps. His hitting coach, Barry Bonds, the all-time home run champion, counseled patience, not overhaul. Yelich listened.”
JDM is an exception to the launch angle in that he’s a great hitter period. Juiced ball is the cause I believe for the HR craze. There has always been a few HR, low average hitters each year, Dave Kingman, Gorman Thomas come to mind. If it isn’t mainly today’s equipment, we would have seen this in the 70s and 80s if not even earlier. Just the number of opposite field HRs and bombs from 5’8″ and under guys speaks volumes. Combine that with physics, the average mph going in means faster mpg going out (hate exit velocity term) and you have what I describe as video game baseball designed to keep fantasy players happy.
Guys are also standing closer to the plate than they did in the 70’s and 80’s, therefore giving themselves a greater chance to put the barrel on the baseball. Less fear for hitters walking into the batters box. More body armor to wear and trigger-happy umpires. Add the juiced balls you’re talking about and we have a HR craze.
Like I said xabial…always two sides. As the Yelich article said somethings are not a “wholesale approach”….a one size fits all so to speak.
Not all power pitchers are aces as some can’t maintain control and not all power hitters are successful when they sacrifice contact for whiffs.
Personally I like Yelich’s approach it’s just that some find it patience and bat control to be harder than simply lifting the ball.
Absolutely true. Between the armor they wear (huge elbow pads for example) and the change in not going inside is a huge factor I neglected to consider. Thanks TrimReaper!
If you can’t juice the player, juice the ball. It’s all about high scoring games and fannies in the seats, ratings etc.
This firing makes 100% logical sense to me.
The Cubs bats were cold in the postseason, Chili was the hitting coach, nobody likes cold bats, nobody wants their chili cold. Therefore,
Get some hot chili, and fire Chili.
Need some nice hot chili for the players to eat, so their bats are hot as hot chili peppers!!!
Not a scapegoat BUT his style was NOT for this team . Go cubs Go ⚾️
The Human Toilet
I was hoping to hear this new this offseason, there was no chance he can keep his job after the tailspin that offense went on in the 2nd half.
He did what the Cubs wanted him to do. Have the players go the other way and reduce strikeouts. Sorry, but changing hitting coaches isn’t going to fix this offense.
Red Sox offense also underperformed with Davis as the hitting coach, so there is at least reason to believe that his approach was not working.
What was wrong with the Sox offense in 2016? Blame him in 17 then give him credit in 16. Betts, Papi, Ramirez. That team mashed but truth be told, hitting coaches have very little influence unless the players are willing to listen.
It’s odd tho. Players mostly all praise the guy, but as another poster said.. power takes a big hit, ground ball rates surge. Best thing can be said is he does attempt to cut down swings for 2 strike approach, but for Cubs with a few free swingers anyway, that wasn’t going to work with them out of the box without a change in plate discipline over night.
He’ll get another try somewhere, probably as a MiLB hitting coordinator 1st. Don’t see him back as MLB hitting coach until this “who cares about k’s” madness is over with.
Remember how hot he was that one off season? Had the Yanks and Sox both battling for him. Got him a multi year deal, didn’t it?
The Human Toilet
Got the strikeouts down and got the batting average up, but ground all rate went through the roof and power nosedived as a result. It sometime took 4 straight hits to score 1 run. It was amazing they won 95 games how bad the offense was in the 2nd half
You’re right…all it stakes is better health you stooge.
Yet BoSox offense did a 180 degree turn for the better after he left
They also found a replacement for Papi that they didn’t have in 2017 (JDM), got a rebound year from Mookie consistent with 2016 when Davis was the HC and got a healthy season from Bogaerts. Rest of team who were there since 2016 was basically the same other than Brock Holt who had his best month ever in September and had concussion issues last year. None of the catchers hit nor did JBJ.
BS , they should of kept previous hitting coach ( pay attention) Cubs win
username checks out if you are Chili Davis’ son
Kinda figured this was going to be the outcome. If it worked for the Red Sox this year after letting him go last year, maybe it will be the same for the Cubs?
Cubs need a scapegoat…by Chili
Heyward showed an improvement this year… Doubled WAR from 1.0 to 2.0. Shud Kept Chilli? Hope trend continues and +4.0 WAR next yr. OPS went .631 to .715 to .731 past 3 years
Ha he said “improved” to .731
But, but, but, he plays 20MM worth of defense in right field…
Improved 100 points the past 3 years.
.831 end of the next 3? Stay Positive, Cubs’ fans. Five-years, $106M is hardly franchise-crippling. (For most 2018 clubs, let alone, the Cubs)
Unfortunately his elite defense is starting to fade. He still plays above average defense however father time is not kind to the range of speedy of.
Yea he improved ever year. What did you not understand
MLB average OPS was .728, so it’s more like he finally became an average hitter after 2 years of disappointment.
Well that sounds like improvement then
I think years back Chili would have been a good hitting coach but maybe his approach is outdated. All these players are taught to go for home runs and launch angle and all that from the time they are young. Chili is preaching line drives the other way contact and walks. It just contradicts the modern message. Not saying Which way is better but can’t be taught one thing for most of a career then completely switch once in MLB. It was fun Chili now on to a more modern approach.
The three true outcomes approach is ruining the sport.
The Human Toilet
Chicks dig the long ball
Speak for yourself…
No I’ll just speak for the horrible TV ratings. Monday night Football this week drew 10.6 million fans while the Sox vs Yankees playoff game drew 4.41 million.
@Slevin but there were 3 baseball games on Monday. Shouldn’t you add up the viewers from all of them?
No, they weren’t on at the same time as MNF.
Tv ratings are down because people don’t watch nearly as much tv as they used to. Many younger people don’t even own one and watch everything online
So you’re using an outdated standard to try and prove the point.
My dude, it was a joke because of my screen name. There are a lot of reasons baseball ratings are declining compared to other sports. The impact the style of play has on those ratings is probably negligible.
Giants maybe??? He was great when he was in SF and I loved watching him. Maybe he can light a spark into our offense because what our current hitting coach is doing just isn’t working.
Muellins wasn’t much better than Powell. Pretty sure it’s the terrible roster at this point, not the hitting coach.
Something had to give.
No brainer. Chili had to go.
Gwynning's Anal Lover
Here you go Pirates. You needed a hitting coach for years.
Why the Pirates dont have any of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Andy Van Slyke, Jeff King or even Brian Giles as their hitting coach is inexplicable to me.
Gwynning's Anal Lover
They want nothing to do with the Pirates anymore. Actually, they are just too expensive of an investment for Neil. Seriously, the philosophy Chili has aligns with how the Pirates set up their organization. They have a ton of high walk, line drive guys in the pipeline. Chili is a good match. If anything, Tommy Gregg would be a great hitting instructor for the Pirates.
Why haven’t they reported KB turning down 200MM extension on MLBTR? It would get a ton of comments. I don’t blame him because likely it was a 7-10 year minimum extension. I’m hopeful cubs can still work something out.
Because it’s old news and it was abundantly clear Boras isn’t interested in having Bryant’s arbitration years bought out.
Because all stories today say there is no truth to the offer or Bryant turning it down. Very solid journalism by MLBTR for not posting false news. Until Bryant says he turned down an actual offer or the Cubs say they’ve offered something like that it’s not a story.
The Human Toilet
Kaplan is a hack writer, if he is reporting it, then likely not true.
Because it was lame attempt at attention by the bald wonder of the midway.
Yes chili is the reason Ian Happ struck out 150 times
Common San Diego get him
No problem with Chille getting the ax. I think this was more Theo sending Maddon a message it’s my team my coaches. At the end of the day Cubs have way to many free swinger in the lineup, ( Theos Fault ). Someone had to take the fall and he happened to be the perfect target.
Of course it is Chili’s fault, just like last year it was Bosi’s. One thing for certain it is not Joe’s fault. As far as i recollect he has never bared that burden only deflecting blame to weather, travel or my favorite saying the other team got lucky.
Hey Tom, remind Theo who writes the checks.
Wow just maybe the bad hitting is because it’s lack of talent and the cubs core is grossly overrated.
That core has won the most games in baseball since they broke into the league. That’s talent. Production comes from adjustments. Cubs didn’t make any meaningful adjustments in season.
Oh, my bad. I didn’t realize I was responding to you. You don’t actually care about any fact based discussion. I’ll save you… 11 WS rings, 110 years, goats, BFIB. Did I miss anything?
Chili Davis dismissed at a 25 degree launch angle and a 109.7 exit velocity.
Gwynning's Anal Lover
Nothing to do with the topic, but just wanted to say I made chili last night for dinner. Came out awesome. Just needed to get that off of my chest.
….and Ryne Sandberg will now be the hitting coach.
The Human Toilet
Magadan is no better
Been saying this for weeks, Chili Davis would be a nice fit for Angels Manager job. A lot of ex Angels respect him a ton and Tim Salmon credited him for being his most influential teammate he’s ever had. Angels could use some steeze in the dugout, everyone’s burnt on watching boring ass Scioscia and his facial expressions.
Enter in who?
One thing that’s for sure: Epstein/Hoyer don’t make changes unless they already have his replacement in mind.
So, I doubt if they are “searching” for a HC as one poster suggested.
I expect the same thing to happen with Marcus Thames in the Bronx as well, just saying!! Hitting with Runners in scoring position is a serious issue, leaving to many runners on base has become a norm in N.Y. it has to change in order to be more successful in the near future. A Team .249 Batting Average is not going to help you get far, TIME FOR A CHANGE
Boston Red Sox Team Batting Average with RISP .289
New York Yankees Team Batting Average with RISP .253
That is a 36 point deferential between two of the top teams in Baseball, this needs to change, or we will be looking up to the Red Sox for many more seasons to come!!
I thought this was a respected journalistic operation, not the ill-informed blog of some 50 year old middle manager from Naperville?
Would be wonderful for Chili Davis to return to the SF Giants, where he started his professional baseballing career. Alonzo Powell has been a total bust, since coming on as hitting coash last off-season. Perhaps due to poor health, Powell’s impact on the SF batters was negligible at best, and disasterous at worst.
The Giants franchise has been around since 1883, and almost unbelievably, the team turned in their worst half of hitting ever (judged by batting average, slugging % & runs scored). Again, just mind-boggling in this rabbit ball era. Andrew McCutchen led the team in RBI’s with 55, and he didn’t even play for the Giants the last month of the season! Incidentally, having 55 RBI’s lead the team is also a new franchise low.
Something’s gotta change in the city by the Bay. Bring in Chili Davis, bring in Bryce Harper, and for goodness sake, bring in the fences at AT&T. The dangerous on-field bullpens really need to move to Triples Alley.
Time to come home Charles. Should have went to SF last year. Giants need to make that switch.