TODAY: Iapoce indeed won’t be returning, as Hoyer told reporters today. In another coaching change, Hoyer announced that associate pitching/catching/strategy coach Mike Borzello won’t be returning in 2022.
OCTOBER 5: The Cubs are expected to move on from hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, tweets Robert Murray of FanSided. Iapoce has been the Northsiders major league hitting coach since October, 2018, when Joe Maddon was still manager and Theo Epstein was President of Baseball Operations. Given that neither is still with the team, it probably isn’t a big surprise that the Cubbies are moving on from Iapoce, too.
Iapoce started with the Cubs in 2013, initially in their player development department, where he oversaw their minor league hitting program. He also served as a special assistant to then-GM (now President of Baseball Operations) Jed Hoyer and Epstein.
In light of their 71-91 record, no one will be surprised that the Cubs finished with a below average 92 wRC+ overall. Of course, in the big scheme of things a club’s hitting coach is far down the pecking order when it comes to results on the field. And it certainly didn’t help the team’s offensive performance that Hoyer and company chose to trade Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant prior to the July 30 deadline. But the Cubs are clearly a team in transition, and changes were coming and will no doubt continue to be made before Opening Day, 2022.
Prior to joining the Cubs, Iapoce served as the Rangers’ hitting coach from 2016 to 2018, his first big league coaching assignment. He broke into pro ball in 1994, after being taken by the Brewers in the 33rd round of that year’s draft. In 11 minor league seasons he reached the AAA level during parts of four campaigns, but only managed an anemic .210/.289/.266 output at that level. He then had stints as a minor league coach with the Marlins (2006 – 09) and Blue Jays (2010 – 12).