FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Cubs’ bench coach Dave Martinez has been selected as their new manager. The team has not confirmed the report yet, but Heyman expects that the announcement will follow the conclusion of the World Series next week.
Martinez, 53, spent nine seasons working as a spring training instructor, bench coach and defensive coordinator for the Rays. He was routinely passed over for other managerial openings on the Rays, Cubs, Astros, White Sox, Blue Jays, Indians and Nationals and has no official managerial experience to speak of at any level. The Cubs brought him on as a bench coach prior to the 2015 season, and he got his first taste of a World Series victory after helping coach the club through their 2016 title run.
It’s been several weeks since former manager Dusty Baker was released from the Nationals, and Heyman speculates that the team wanted to move quickly through the hiring process. They interviewed Red Sox’ former skipper John Farrell and inquired about Mets’ hitting coach Kevin Long but were ultimately drawn to Martinez’s experience in the dugout, understanding of analytics and relationship with the players. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post adds that the deal is reportedly good for three years with an option.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.