There is still no timetable for his return, but there is progress of sorts on the Chase Utley rehab front: he’s heading to Clearwater for extended spring training. Hitting first, but then eventually some fielding.
The fielding is the problem, as his knee problems hurt his lateral movement. So I suppose it’s not yet time to get excited. But it’s not nothing, and after so much nothing, that’s something.
Um, I think. I’m confused too. Sorry.
The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”
Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.