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Cubs announce 2024 coaching staff under Craig Counsell

Ryan Herrera Avatar
January 2, 2024

When Craig Counsell was officially introduced as the Cubs’ new manager in November, he was asked if he was ready to make announcements regarding his 2024 coaching staff.

Considering how quick his hiring process went, though, Counsell wanted to be slow and deliberate in finalizing the staff he’d have with him as he began his new journey in Chicago. At that point, it wasn’t clear how much turnover the Cubs’ coaching staff would experience with a new skipper at the helm.

But that question was finally answered Tuesday afternoon, as the Cubs officially announced their 2024 coaching staff. Included are four fresh faces:

  • Ryan Flaherty is the new bench coach
  • Darren Holmes is the new bullpen coach
  • Mark Strittmatter is the new major league field coordinator
  • John Mallee returns to the Cubs’ staff as an assistant hitting coach

In addition to those four, 10 coaches from 2023 will return in their roles on the Cubs’ staff next season: Tommy Hottovy (pitching coach), Dustin Kelly (hitting coach), Willie Harris (third-base coach), Mike Napoli (first-base coach), Daniel Moskos (assistant pitching coach), Juan Cabreja (assistant hitting coach), Jim Adduci (assistant hitting coach), Jonathan Mota (major league coach), Alex Smith (major league coach, data development and process) and Garrett Lloyd (bullpen catcher).

“Just talking to them — and, frankly, talking around the industry about them — I felt like it was largely a good staff in place,” Counsell said at the Winter Meetings last month. “There were some really good pieces in place and there were some places for growth on the staff that I think I can help with. I’m looking forward to doing that with some of these guys. There’s some really good tools there that I think we can use and, hopefully, make better in the end just to help players.

“That’s what our job is as coaches and that’s what our coaching staff’s job is to help the players. Help the players be better at their jobs, and I think we have some really good tool sets on this coaching staff to do so.”

Flaherty takes over for former bench coach Andy Green, who left to join the Mets’ player development department. He spent the last four seasons with the Padres, including 2023 as their bench coach/offensive coordinator. Flaherty joined San Diego’s staff in 2020 as an advance scout and development coach, then served as quality control coach in 2022.

The Cubs actually selected Flaherty in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft — though he went on to play eight seasons with three other teams — and he now returns to the organization as Counsell’s No. 2.

“I didn’t know Ryan well going into this search, but I’ve always had great respect for him,” Counsell said. “He’s done really good things quickly in his coaching career. He’s earned an excellent reputation. And he’s been very good with players, and I think that relationship that he has — it’s really hard as you start coaching to kind of separate yourself as a coach and still be great with players, and I think Ryan has just done an excellent job of that.”

Holmes, taking over as bullpen coach after the Cubs parted ways with Chris Young, was the Orioles assistant pitching coach for the last three years after serving as their bullpen coach in 2020. He was the Rockies’ bullpen coach from 2015-19. Another former big leaguer, Holmes pitched in parts of 13 seasons with eight different clubs and was part of the Yankees’ 1998 World Series squad.

Strittmatter spent the last 11 seasons in the Rockies’ organization as their catching coordinator. Prior to that, he served as a major league coach for the Pirates from 2011-12 following eight years as the bullpen catcher in Colorado. Strittmatter will work with Cubs catchers — filling the role left behind by former catching/game strategy coach Craig Driver — and will be the point person for team scheduling.

Mallee returns to the Cubs’ coaching staff after a year as Triple-A Iowa’s hitting coach last season. He served as the Cubs’ hitting coach from 2015 to 2017 — when the team made three straight NLCS appearances and won the World Series in 2016 — and he held the same role for the Phillies from 2018-19. He was also the Angels’ assistant hitting coach from 2020-22.

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