Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum unveiled his coaching staff Friday, bringing in former teammate Chris Bosio to be in charge of the pitchers and Jamie Quirk to be his bench coach.
Sveum also said the Cubs have not been in touch with prized free agent Prince Fielder, with whom he has a close relationship from their days together in Milwaukee. He said reports that the Cubs were among the front-runners to sign Fielder were speculation
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”At this point I think it’s lot of media talk more than us doing anything. We haven’t had any talks with Prince and I haven’t had any conversations with him,” Sveum said. ”We haven’t initiated any kind of contact at all.”
That, of course, doesn’t mean Fielder won’t end up with the Cubs. But, as Sveum sees it, it’s not imminent.
Sveum, who was the Brewers’ hitting coach the last three years, called the revelation that 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun of Milwaukee tested positive for a performance enhancing substance ”an unfortunate thing.”
Braun is appealing the finding to avoid a 50-game suspension for what reportedly was a positive test for synthetic testosterone. A spokesman for Braun said ”there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence.”
”It took everybody by surprise. But until it is all said and done, I don’t really have much comment on that right now,” Sveum said. ”It’s just an unfortunate thing that’s come about and hopefully he gets exonerated and there was some kind of mix-up or whatever.”
Sveum also named Dave McKay, who was dropped by St. Louis after a 16-year stint there when Mike Matheny became manager, as his first base coach. Entering his 27th season as a big league coach, McKay will also work with base runners and outfielders.
Pat Listach, who was the bench coach last season under Mike Quade, returns and will now be the third base coach. Returning to the Cubs staff in their previous roles are hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and bullpen coach Lester Strode.
Additionally, Mike Borzello and Franklin Font will serve as major league staff assistants.
Quirk has 12 years of experience as a bench coach with the Royals and Rockies.
Bosio, who was a teammate of Sveum’s with the Brewers, was Tampa Bay’s pitching coach in 2003 and served in that role with the Brewers in 2009. He was Milwaukee’s Triple-A pitching coach last season.
He will be handling a pitching staff not short on emotion. Matt Garza is a fierce competitor and one-time ace Carlos Zambrano was suspended last season after an outburst in Atlanta, where he gave up five homers in a game.
”No-nonsense type of guy who is going to get down and dirty with each and every pitcher and get the best out of them,” Sveum said of Bosio, who had an 11-year major league career. ”More importantly he’s really good at understanding how to get hitters out.”