The Chicago Cubs have found their manger for the 2020 season. According to Jon Heyman, they are officially hiring former catcher David Ross. Ross played for 15 seasons won two World Series championships, including as a member of the Cubs 2016 World Series championship team.
Cubs are hiring David Ross for manager
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 23, 2019
Catchers are well regarded as good candidates for managers, Ross spent 15 years suiting up at that position for seven different MLB clubs. Additionally, he played in seven different postseasons. This plays well for Ross as he is taking over a Cub team that is expected to compete and return to the postseason with its young core still in tact.
Ross spent the final two years of his career with the Cubs where he was a leader in the clubhouse. In 2019, many of his teammates still don the Cub uniform. Ross has a familiarity with this team and this organization which will bode well throughout a 162-game season.
Ross has also been serving as a special assistant for baseball operations for the Cubs as well as an ESPN analyst prior to his hiring.
Lack Of Experience
Looking At The Trend
There are some concerns with the hiring of David Ross. To start, he has no prior managing experience. That has been a trend across MLB over the previous few seasons receiving mixed results. The lack of experience should be a cause for concern due to these mixed results.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have recently benefited from their inexperienced manager choices. Aaron Boone has led the Yankees to consecutive 100-win seasons and postseason trips, and Alex Cora led the Red Sox to 108 wins and a World Series victory in 2018.
Additionally, Dave Martinez left the Cubs to manager the Washington Nationals, his first managerial job in 2018. While they did not make the postseason in 2018 and started 2019 off slowly, Martinez has helped lead the Nationals to their first ever National League Pennant and are currently playing in the World Series.
Not all first time managers pan out. The New York Mets hired Mickey Callaway after the 2017 season. While the team did improve its win totals each year under Callaway, the team felt that he was not the man to lead them back to the postseason and let him go after the 2019 season.
Baldelli, Cora, Martinez, and Callaway all had prior MLB coaching experience but no managing experience. Boone and Kapler, however, had no prior MLB coaching experience, similar to Ross.
The men who have had success in these roles, did have teams that were ready to win when they took over. Ross does take over a team with the core of its 2016 World Championship team still in tact, but time will tell if the lack of experience will prove to be an issue for Ross as he looks to lead the Cubs back to the postseason.
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