David Ross is the manager. That was officially official this past Thursday. So what is his first move as manager of the Chicago Cubs? That’s easy, name his bench coach.
There are 8 candidates that could be a great fit and have a realistic shot at being Ross’ second hand man. Four from within the Cubs organization and four from outside the Cubs.
First, let’s start with the four that currently work within the Cubs organization:
This is the most obvious choice. He served as the bench coach under Joe Maddon last season. So he has the experience with this team and with the job. The catch with him is he interviewed for the Cubs managerial opening and obviously didn’t get it. So would he want to call back to his old job with the team that didn’t hire him as their manager? Probably not. If Loretta doesn’t land a manager job somewhere I see him heading to the Angels and becoming Joe Maddon’s bench coach once again.
-Chris Denorfia and Wil Venable
I group these candidates together because they both could be wanting to take their coaching to the next level. We know for sure the Venable is interested in doing that because he interviewed for the Cubs. Denorfia has been a special assistant under Maddon for the last two years. They both know these players and the organization and would be solid choices.
I consider this to be a long shot within the organization. He is currently the Mental Health coach for the Cubs and just like I said when I thought he would be an interesting pick as manager, it all depends if he wants to advance with his coaching. It would be fun to have two of the three great back up catchers the Cubs ever had (third one is a choice later).
Now let’s talk outside the organization candidates:
Former Red Sox manager would be a great choice for Ross because it brings in a guy not only with experience as a winning big league manager but has a solid relationship with David Ross, because he managed Ross when they were in Boston. I see this as the most obvious outside the Cubs choice.
-Ron Washington and Jim Riggelman
Just like Denorfia and Venable I grouped these candidates together because it would come down to them wanting to be the second hand man to a rookie manager. Both have great track records on baseball as managers and in Washington’s case he did interviewed for San Diego’s managerial opening. Riggleman would be a little more of a stretch because he was the manager of the Cubs in the late nighties/early two thousands. Both would be solid choices to help the rookie manager.
This is the long shot of this group. Blanco is currently the bullpen coach for the Nationals and is preparing for Game 3 of the World Series. If Blanco is wanting to take his coaching to the next level, coming back to the Cubs and being under Ross would make all the sense.
It will be fun to see who Ross chooses. He couldn’t go wrong with any of these candidates. He is going to choose the person that feels will bring out the best in him and really help get his message across to the players.
Credits: Cover Image-WTTW, Loretta-NBCSports, Venable-NBCSports, Baker-USA Today, Farrell-Sports Illustrated, Riggelman-Daily Herald, Blanco-NBCSports