After a below-average offensive season, the Cubs are parting with assistant hitting coach Terrmel Sledge, Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic report. They’ll look for someone else to partner with hitting coach Anthony Ianoce.
A former major league outfielder, Sledge spent two seasons on the Cubs’ staff. They finished 2019 ninth in wRC+ and 10th in runs with Sledge in the fold, but the Cubs fell to 21st and 20th in those categories this year. That surely didn’t help Sledge’s cause, though it’s difficult to quantify the impact of an assistant coach.
Beyond Sledge’s departure, the Cubs’ offense could face more drastic changes leading into next season. While the club did win the National League Central in 2020, it bowed out in the wild-card round against the Marlins, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has expressed an openness to overseeing a significant offensive shakeup since then. With that in mind, it’s possible the Cubs will seriously consider trade offers for some of their most notable hitters (Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber may be at the top of the list), especially considering the dwindling team control over some of their key players.