Cubs: Why John Farrell would be perfect bench coach

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

Now that David Ross has been introduced as the next manager for the Cubs, they need to hire an experienced bench coach and John Farrell fits that mold.

The offseason was officially kicked into high gear after David Ross was named as Joe Maddon‘s successor last week. The former catcher under Maddon won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016 and hit a critical home run in Game 7 of that series. Now, he’ll look to lead the team in a new manner. Ross, 42, definitely has his hands full, managing a roster with several of his former teammates. And questions are already flocking on how he’ll hold those guys accountable and if they will even listen to him.

A good way that he can help get his message across is with a good bench coach. Dave Martinez was that guy for Joe Maddon prior to leaving for the Washington Nationals managerial position after the 2017 season. It’s no coincidence that the Cubs felt short of expectations after Martinez left as they became extremely sloppy both in the field on the base paths.

Accountability was stressed in Ross’ introductory press conference and the next order of business for the Cubs should be to hire an experienced bench coach. Specifically, John Farrell. If you recall, Ross was a catcher for the Boston Red Sox when Farrell became the manager prior to the 2013 season. That team would go from worst-to-first and win the World Series. A big reason for that was the reduction in the number of errors committed by the Red Sox. Prior to Farrell’s arrival, the Red Sox were responsible for 101 errors during the 2012 season and dropped that number to 80, which was well below the league average of 92 as well.

With the assistance of Farrell, Ross would hope for a parallel situation for the 2020 Cubs, who are looking to improve from 104 and 118 errors in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Those numbers represent free outs for the opposition and played a big part in why the Cubs fell short of expectations.

An experienced bench coach is going to be critical to Ross’ success as a manager and, obviously, Farrell has quite a bit of experience. He spent four seasons as the Red Sox pitching coach before accepting the managerial position with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to the 2011 season and with the Boston Red Sox prior to the 2013 season. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s been with the Cincinnati Reds since 2018 as one of the club’s scouts.

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The relationship is already in place with Ross and it makes a ton of sense from an experience perspective to pair him (Farrell) with the rookie manager. I do have some concern about his previous run-ins with former players as well as the media, but I like to believe that can be avoided serving a lesser role with the team. That being said, I think his competitiveness can be a valuable asset to Ross as well as the team.