Jim Hickey's Future With Cubs Unclear

Speculation is swirling that Hickey will be elsewhere or in a new role in 2019.

Bruce Levine
November 08, 2018 - 8:04 am
Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey, center, with Tyler Chatwood, right.

Matt Marton/USA Today Sports

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (670 The Score) -- The future of Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey with the organization remained a mystery Wednesday.

The Cubs haven't yet announced their coaching staff for the 2019 season, acknowledging there are still moving parts. As speculation swirled about Hickey leaving or being reassigned with the organization, the Cubs were mum, other than to confirm Hickey hadn't been fired.

"That is not a subject I am able to address at this point," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said late Wednesday afternoon.

The Cubs have already hired a new hitting coach this offseason, adding Anthony Iapoce after letting go of Chili Davis.

The Cubs pitching staff had a quality 2018 campaign under Hickey's watch. The Cubs posted a 3.65 ERA as a staff, the second-best mark in the National League. The bullpen boasted the best ERA in the NL as well. After a first half in which the organization closely monitored the workload of the starting pitchers, that group found its groove and carried the team for long stretches in the second half. 

"With Hick, it got off to a little shaky start with our starting pitching, but that became a strength of the club by the end of the season," Epstein said. "Our pitching wasn't our issue last year. It was our second-half offense."

Hickey signed a three-year contract in the fall of 2017 to replace Chris Bosio, who was fired after six seasons. That deal made him one of the highest-paid pitching coaches in the league.

A Chicago native, Hickey worked under manager Joe Maddon from 2007-'14 in Tampa Bay before joining him in Chicago ahead of the 2018 season. One of the most respected pitching coaches in the game, Hickey was being courted by three teams last offseason before taking the Cubs' open position.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.