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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Cubs fire hitting coach Chili Davis

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The Chicago Cubs are taking steps towards fixing their offense for the 2019 season.

The team announced on Thursday that they have fired hitting coach Chili Davis. The move should not come as a surprise to those who had been monitoring the situation.

The Cubs had strong offensive numbers in the first half of the season but tanked in the second half.

President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein talked about some of the concerns he had with the team’s offense following their elimination from the playoffs.

“The goal, what Joe (Maddon) mentioned and certainly what I was hoping for, was never to sacrifice power or in my opinion, launch angle. It’s not a fad. The bottom line is, line drives and balls in the air are way more productive than ground balls. We weren’t looking to sacrifice power and walks in exchange for ground balls and opposite field hits. But in the second half, that’s what the results were. That’s not what we’re looking for,” Epstein said, via The Athletic.

Those comments seemed to show Davis’ days as the hitting coach were numbered.

Davis emphasized a patient approach with hitters driving the ball to the opposite field. The results showed, with the Cubs being among the top teams in the NL in opposite field hits and opposite field batting average. But they lacked power, which was a greater concern.

Some of the team’s faults — the injury to Kris Bryant — can’t be attributed to Davis. He should also get some credit for Javy Baez’s success. But overall, the team’s performance was not where they wanted it to be.

The team will likely look for a new hitting coach with a philosophy that emphasizes hitting the ball in the air.



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