Cubs Hire New Minor League Pitching Coordinator

The Cubs hired Derek Johnson as their minor league pitching coordinator. Apparently this is a bit of a coup, but it might as well have been Bugs Bunny for all I know about amateur pitching coaches. But I'm supposed to pretend that I'm some sort of authority on these subjects, so here's what I uncovered on the man, the myth, the legend.

So far Baseball America, Peter Gammons and Keith Law all have chimed in on what a big get this was for the Cubs. Johnson had been with Vanderbilt since 2002 and was named the National Pitching Coach of the Year in 2004 and National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. Some of the pitchers that were drafted from Vanderbilt while he was there include Mike Minor, Jeremy Sowers, Sonny Gray and David Price. He had been approached numerous times for big league jobs that he's turned down in the past. Baseball America touts his individualistic approach, which as a general rule of thumb, I prefer.

From the Cubs' perspective, this is an exciting hire. Johnson is a gifted teacher with a knack for adapting to the individual needs of his pitchers—he does not adhere to a one-size-fits-all philosophy. But he does believe in the benefits of long-tossing, so this hire could mark an organizational shift toward longer throwing programs.

 So I suppose it's as good as you could hope for such a job, although I do think they may have missed out not going with the bunny.

Maybe you don't want him teaching mechanics, but that slowball could be devastating.

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  • *That was a fun HALF inning.

    Brick 31 min 26 sec ago view
  • this game is no longer awesome.

    crunch 31 min 33 sec ago view
  • he did...it was awesome.

    crunch 41 min 4 sec ago view
  • I'm pretty sure that Len called Bryant's home run a Brexit.

    Old and Blue 42 min 7 sec ago view
  • everyone but heyward with a hit and a 3 run lead with coghlan on 3rd through 5 batters. hell yeah.

    okay, this is just silly. 19 pitches in, 1 out, 4 runs in, men on 1st and 2nd...hendricks up to bunt.

    ...and almora contributes the final out. that was a fun inning.

    crunch 44 min 26 sec ago view
  • this game is awesome already.

    also, there's a lot of cubs fans in the park tonight.

    crunch 52 min 35 sec ago view
  • Clearly, Joe Maddon is a Lineup Wizzard.

    Transmission 52 min 59 sec ago view
  • "Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Anthony Rizzo (back) is feeling better and it's "possible" the first baseman could return to the lineup Saturday."

    crunch 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • Maddon shore isn't afraid to bat a rookie 4th in the order.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • how many pairs of dice did dusty leave hidden around the park when he left the cubs?

    crunch 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • Line-up shakeup, going all-2015 with pitcher batting 8th, Bryant 2nd

    J-Hey, Bryant 1B, Zobrist, Willson, Coghlan, Baez 3B, Russell, Hendricks, Almora

    Eric S 4 hours 50 min ago view
  • The Cubs are currently down Schwarber, Fowler, Soler, and Rizzo and Montero appear to be day-to-day. Maybe not surprising that they are struggling a bit as they rely more than expected on Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, and Szczur to provide offensive value.

    Charlie 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • Joe: "I loved the way we brought it today, man. We'll take this every night and win a lot of ballgames like that. Losing 4 in a row...that's nothin'."

    The E-Man 22 hours 4 min ago view
  • 9 runs in 4 games. Zobrist slumping. Russell having a tough time. Almora not a contact guy. They miss Fowler big time.

    Bring the A-Team back.

    The E-Man 22 hours 8 min ago view
  • poop.

    4 losses in a row for the 1st time this season.

    crunch 22 hours 14 min ago view
  • DRAMA!

    crunch 22 hours 20 min ago view