Craig Counsell said during his introductory press conference that he was going to be deliberate when it came to assembling his coaching staff, a process necessitated by the fact that his old staff stayed in Milwaukee. And while pitching coach Tommy Hottovy and hitting coach Dustin Kelly were among several Cubs coaches still under contract, former bench coach Andy Greene opted to pursue an opportunity with the Mets. Now it appears as though the Cubs are replacing the former Padres manager with a man who was in the running for that same gig.
As first reported by Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic, the Cubs are expected to hire Ryan Flaherty as Craig Counsell’s new bench coach. Drafted by the Cubs at No. 41 overall in 2008 out of Vanderbilt, where he was teammates with GM Carter Hawkins, Flaherty spent four seasons in the organization. He made it to Triple-A Iowa for part of the 2011 season before being selected by the Orioles in that winter’s Rule 5 Draft.
Flaherty played all over the field in the course of his eight-year career, which included stops in Atlanta and Baltimore, logging at least 160 innings at five different positions. The 37-year-old was hired by the Padres as their quality control coach following his retirement, and he was named their bench coach for the 2023 season. He was a candidate for the vacant managerial role once Bob Melvin left for San Francisco and was still under contract even after Mike Shildt was hired for that gig, but Flaherty wanted a change.
Though it’s not some kind of seismic move by any stretch, Flaherty is well-respected around the league and will bring a different perspective to a team that has a new leader along with strong continuity from past regimes. The Cubs still need to make some other coaching hires, but it looks like their core group is pretty much set.