After Theo Epstein spoke quite candidly about his disappointment in the Cubs’ offensive performance during his end of the year presser, it comes as little surprise to learn that Chili Davis will not return as the hitting coach in 2019. Though there were some individual success stories, Cubs hitters regressed overall this past season.
The Cubs have informed Chili Davis that he won't return for the 2019 season.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 11, 2018
We’ll likely get a more elaborate explanation regarding the move from Epstein in the near future, but this seemed like a foregone conclusion to many once the season ended. It’s hard to accurately assess exactly how much a hitting coach is really responsible for, but it was difficult to envision Davis surviving this offseason after the Cubs offensive struggles during the last weekend of the season brought the 2018 campaign to a grinding halt.
The Cubs trailed only the Orioles in games scoring just one or no runs, and they scored just one run in three of the last four games they played, including the NL Central tiebreaker and the NL Wild Card game.
The fate of the rest of the coaches is yet to be determined, but this is the second big offseason shakeup of Joe Maddon’s staff in as many seasons and the Cubs will be employing their third hitting instructor in three years. That puts things more squarely on Maddon’s shoulders, as there’s only so much scapegoating you can do (even if it’s warranted).