Submitted by Arizona Phil on Fri, 12/01/2006 - 7:00am
The Cubs announced their 2007 minor league managing and coaching assignments a couple of days ago, and together with a previous announcement regarding minor league coordinators, the MLB field staff and Player Development field staff for the upcoming season is just about finalized. If Johnnie B. Baker, Jr is still looking for a job by the first of the year, the managerial slot at Peoria is still open. Last year, Jody Davis was not named manager of the Peoria Chiefs until January, so perhaps there's still time for another former Cub looking to get into coaching or managing (talkin' bout you, Ryne Sandberg--let's see just how serious you really are about wanting to be a manager!) to get the Peoria skipper gig. Also, the DSL Cubs staff has not yet been announced, although it's very possible that all members of the DSL Cubs staff could return in 2007, with the exception of Manager Franklin Font, who will be the new hitting instructor at Boise. It's also possible that Latin American Field Coordinator Julio Garcia will do "double duty" and manage the DSL Cubs, since he has 13 years experience as a minor league manager. 2007 CUBS ORGANIZATION FIELD ASSIGNMENTS: MANAGER: Lou Piniella BENCH COACH: Alan Trammell PITCHING COACH: Larry Rothschild HITTING COACH: Gerald Perry 3rd BASE COACH: Mike Quade 1st BASE COACH: Matt Sinatro BULLPEN COACH: Lester Strode ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan DeJesus MINOR LEAGUE FIELD COORDINATOR: Dave Bialas MINOR LEAGUE PITCHING COORDINATOR: Alan Dunn MINOR LEAGUE HITTING COORDINATOR: Dave Keller MINOR LEAGUE ROVING OUTFIELD & BASE-RUNNING INSTRUCTOR: Bob Dernier MINOR LEAGUE ROVING INFIELD & BUNTING INSTRUCTOR: Bobby Dickerson MINOR LEAGUE ROVING CATCHING INSTRUCTOR: Casey Kopitzke IOWA (AAA) MANAGER: Buddy Bailey PITCHING COACH: Mike Harkey HITTING COACH: Von Joshua TENNESSEE (AA) MANAGER: Pat Listach PITCHING COACH: Dennis Lewallyn HITTING COACH: Barbaro Garbey DAYTONA (Advanced-A) MANAGER: Jody Davis PITCHING COACH: Rich Bombard HITTING COACH: Richie Zisk PEORIA (A) MANAGER: OPEN PITCHING COACH: David Rosario HITTING COACH: Kevin Green BOISE (SS-A) MANAGER: Tom Beyers PITCHING COACH: Tom Pratt HITTING COACH: Franklin Font AZL MESA (SS-R) MANAGER: Ricardo Medina PITCHING COACH: Rick Tronerud HITTING COACH: Carmelo Martinez DSL CUBS (DSL) MANAGER: OPEN PITCHING COACH: OPEN HITTING COACH: OPEN 2006 Iowa manager Mike Quade was promoted to Lou Piniella's staff in Chicago (where Quade will be 3rd base coach), and '06 Iowa pitching coach Alan Dunn has replaced Lester Strode (who will be the Cubs bullpen coach in 2007) as Minor League Pitching Coordinator. Rich Hill credited Dunn as being the guy responsible for making Hill into a major league pitcher. And Von Joshua returns as Iowa's hitting instructor, which is another way of saying Joshua will be Felix Pie's Personal Hitting Coach again in 2007. Not returning to the organization in 2007 are Don Buford (who spent the first half of the 2006 minor league season managing the Daytona Cubs, before being reassigned to the position of Minor League Roving Outfield & Baserunning Instructor in June), and '06 AA West Tenn Pitching Coach Mike Anderson. 2006 Boise Hawks manager Steve McFarland will also not be returning to the field in 2007. However, McFarland is also a scout (Arizona-New Mexico-Utah-West Texas-Southern Nevada) in the Cubs organization, so he will probably be returning to scouting duties full-time in 2007, since it's hard to be both a scout and a manager at the same time. Speaking of scouts, after not having a Pacific Rim scout for several years (ever since Derrek Lee's dad, Leon, was fired), the Cubs have named ex-Cub pitcher Steve Wilson (who has lived in Taiwan for the last ten years) as Pacific Rim Scout (apparently Bill Murray wasn't available). Wilson will give the Cubs a much-needed "go-to guy" in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China (and Australia). It is important for the Cubs to have somebody in Asia who understands the cultural differences and business operations in-place in the various countries, and who can effectively scout (and more importantly, sign) amateur and professional players out of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (especially Korea and Taiwan, since Japanese players are more-tightly controlled within Japan), and maybe even China, since Asia may well be to MLB in the 21st century what Latin America was to MLB the last half of the 20th Century (which is to say, a Gold Mine when it comes to developing baseball players). During the period when Leon Lee was Cubs Pacific Rim scout (1998-2002), the Cubs signed 1B Hee-Seop Choi (1999), C Yoon-Min Kweon (1999), and RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu (2001) out of Korea, but no Japanese players, and no Taiwanese players. Hopefully, Steve Wilson will get better results, and nothing will get Lost in Translation.