Theo Epstein isn’t the only person leaving the Cubs organization this winter, as third base coach Will Venable is reportedly headed to the American League.
Venable going to Red Sox
According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, Venable is expected to be named the new bench coach of the Boston Red Sox. Venable, 38, previously interviewed for Boston’s open managerial position earlier in the offseason. That job eventually went to Alex Cora, who was brought back by the Red Sox following his one-year suspension because of his involvement in the sign-stealing scandal with the Houston Astros.
The Red Sox are expected to name Cubs third base coach Will Venable as their bench coach, a baseball source confirmed Tuesday evening. The team has not confirmed the move but it is expected to be finalized in the coming days.
Venable played for the Padres, Rangers and Dodgers during his nine-year MLB career, retiring after the 2016 season. Following his playing days, Venable joined the Cubs’ front office in Sept. 2017, as a special assistant to Epstein. After that he was promoted to an on-field position, serving as the team’s first-base coach from 2018-19, and then third-base coach in 2020.
Venable has interviewed for a handful of open managerial positions, including the Cubs after Joe Maddon left at the end of the 2019 season.
Besides the Cubs, Venable also interviewed with the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants for their respective manager positions following the 2019 campaign. After the end of 2020, Venable not only interviewed with the Red Sox, but was also considered by the Detroit Tigers for their manager position that was ultimately filled by A.J. Hinch.
So, congrats to Will Venable, who gets a promotion and hopefully is on his way to being a manager one day. He wasn’t with the Cubs for a long time, but I’ll always remember how passionate he was about trying to make things work and get the Cubs back to being a contender after the disastrous end to the 2019 season.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times.
“My interest is really in the organization in general,” said Venable, who expects to interview early next week. “I’m just trying to do what I can to be part of the solution that’s going to get this organization back on track.”
Coaching changes for Cubs
So, the Cubs will have to hire a new third-base coach as Venable leaves to Boston and they’ll also have a new assistant hitting coach.
Earlier in the offseason reports circulated that Terrmel Sledge would not be returning to the Cubs as the assistant to hitting coach Anthony Iapoce. Sledge was brought into the organization heading into 2019, after serving as a minor-league hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Speaking of Iapoce, he has one year left on his deal and although he will be back as the team’s hitting coach in 2021, there was some talk back in October about how he could possibly be on the hot seat.
Another offseason, another Cubs hitting coach on the hot seat. But even if the Cubs do make a change there, it's long overdue for many of these hitters to get uncomfortable and embrace making some real adjustments. https://t.co/HtDlakij89
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 6, 2020
Yet, it’s pretty hard to make the case that the Cubs should move on from yet another hitting coach seeing as the same core group of players continue to fail on making the proper adjustments at the plate.
But hey, as we’re seeing with Epstein and to a lessor extent Venable, we’re probably going to see a few more major changes on the roster and hopefully those players will gel with the coaching staff.