The Chicago Cubs’ season ended on a disappointing note for the defending world champions in a 11-1 game five loss, clinching the NLCS for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The next step for the Cubs following the series defeat was to figure out if major changes needed to be made and with the firing of pitching coach Chris Bosio the answer is yes.
Bosio has been with the team for six years and is renowned as one of the most respected pitching coaches in baseball. A huge part of the Cubs success in 2016 could be attributed to the starting pitching of the team as starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester both finished in the top three of voting for the National League Cy Young award.
While accolades like those are nice, it does not take away from the fact that relief pitching was a glaring issue for the Cubs during their 2017 postseason run. My issue is, the problems in the bullpen are not on Bosio, they’re on the Cubs inability to get anyone of star-caliber in the bullpen outside of Wade Davis and Joe Maddon’s misusage of the pitchers they do have in postseason play.
Maddon made some very questionable calls with the bullpen in the past two postseasons but they were ultimately ignored last year because the Cubs won. This year is a different story, the blame for the bullpen ineptitude should not be placed on Bosio’s shoulders and that man should still have a job.
During the team’s end-of-season press conference, team president Theo Epstein told the media, “Every coach that [Maddon] wants back he will have back.” This firing was clearly Maddon’s decision.
Next up for the Cubs is to find some bullpen help so whoever replaces Bosio can have something to work with. There’s no doubt Epstein will find the players needed to put his team in the best position to succeed. Until then, Cubs fans can hang their hat on the fact that their team has made three straight NLCS appearances which is no easy feat.