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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  • Per Fangraphs...

    Bryant took over NL lead in WAR after yesterday's effort. 3.9. Rizzo's at 2.8 and 9th in the league. Rizzo actually with better offensive numbers (161 wRC+ versus 146 for Bryant), but Bryant gets a good bump because of defense and position(s) played.

    Fowler with a 2.8 WAR as well.

    M. Carpenter actually leads NL with 163 wRC+ just ahead of Rizzo who is 2nd.

    Rob G. 19 min 57 sec ago view
  • Amen

    jacos 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • @jonahkeri Joe Maddon living out Joe Maddon fanfic IRL tonight

    Rob G. 1 hour 29 min ago view
  • yes. I was at the Sean Marshall game in LF. Lou Piniella was managing. StL won 4-2, so I guess it didn't help but it was zany. Soriano/Reed Johnson and Marshall were the LF's.

    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/5854550/

    7-12-09

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?id=290712316

    On a 6 degrees of separation note: Cubs got Travis Wood in the trade that sent Sean Marshall to Cincy.

    Cubster 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • Make that 1-7, 4 RBI.

    billybucks 1 hour 39 min ago view
  • i like how strop played LF with his "crooked cap" look...that's not just for the mound.

    crunch 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • let baez pitch the 15th, he earned it.

    crunch 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • Forget the save, finally Javier!!

    cubbies.4ever 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • Can a pitcher get more than one hold in a game? Or a Win and a save?

    cubbies.4ever 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Didn't they do this sort of thing with Sean Marshall years back? Sticking him in LF to save him to face others, but without a pitcher replacing him in LF.

    cubbies.4ever 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • This is the most beautiful thing ever.

    Transmission 2 hours 18 min ago view
  • all i wanna know is...when's d.ross gonna pitch?

    crunch 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • Maddon is over-managing the shit out of this game.

    Rob G. 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • yeah. ...or not...

    i was a bit more confused why the guy who gave up a HR to votto last night was facing him with 2 men on.

    ...now that wood is coming in to pitch the following inning, the whole thing gets weirder. so like, okay.

    crunch 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • Javy 0-6. At least he's consistent.

    The E-Man 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Sweet play.

    What's with the Travis Wood stuff? Is it because he pitched the last 2 games?

    Rob G. 2 hours 34 min ago view