Just like that, three of the more recognizable faces to Red Sox Nation have left the building.
Earlier today the Indians announced that they had signed Sox pitching coach Carl Willis to the same role in Cleveland. Now, the Cubs have announced that they’ve signed Sox hitting coach Chili Davis and third base coach Brian Butterfield.
Davis and Butterfield will have the same roles with the Cubs under Manager Joe Maddon. They replace John Mallee, who served as major league hitting coach for the last three seasons, and Gary Jones, who served as major league third base coach for the last four seasons, respectively.
Davis was Red Sox hitting coach these past three seasons after serving in that capacity for three years with the Athletics. Over his three seasons in Boston the Red Sox led the majors in runs (2,411) and pitches per plate appearances (3.95), tied for first in on-base percentage (.334), ranked second in batting average (.268), third in OPS (.762) and plate appearances per strikeout (5.35). Despite the success in the aggregate, however, Sox offensive power was notably limited in 2017, falling well short of expectations.
Highly respected Butterfield has served as third base coach, infield coach and baserunning coach for the Red Sox for the last five seasons starting in 2013.
Though newly named Red Sox manager Álex Cora was under no obligation to retain any of the coaches, today’s moves make certain that Cora will bring a team very much of his own choosing to the ballpark in 2018.