September 26, 2021

Cubs To Hire Craig Driver As First Base/Catching Coach (MLB Trade Rumors)

The Cubs are set to hire Craig Driver as their new first base and catching coach,’s Jesse Rogers reports (Twitter link).  Driver will replace Will Venable as Chicago’s first base coach, though president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said earlier this month that Venable would be returning to the Cubs’ staff in 2020.  The most obvious spot for Venable seems to be at third base, as former third base coach Brian Butterfield left the Cubs to join former manager Joe Maddon in Anaheim.

Driver has spent the last two seasons as the Phils’ receiving coach and bullpen catcher, following five years coaching at Yale, Central Washington University, and the University Of Puget Sound.  As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber outlined in a piece last August, J.T. Realmuto’s caught-stealing numbers greatly increased on Driver’s watch, as Realmuto’s 46.7% caught stealing percentage in 2019 dwarfed his previous career best of 38.2%.  Realmuto’s framing and blocking also…

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