Longtime Cubs Bullpen Coach Lester Strode Will Not Return as Changes Continue (Updated)

Update: Though initial reports indicated that Lester Strode would be leaving the organization, it may simply be a matter of not returning in his familiar role. According to Jon Heyman, the former bullpen coach has been offered “another prominent position with the team.” What exactly that is and whether he’ll take it is not known at this point, but it’s good to know he wasn’t just cut loose.

Update #2: In more news from Heyman, the Cubs have interviewed former Padres manager Andy Green and former Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie for coaching positions. As we covered Tuesday, Green is one of the possibilities for bench coach. And as WEEI’s Rob Bradford confirmed, LeVangie’s interview was for the vacated bullpen coach gig.

There have already been several changes as the Cubs reshape the organization across every level, the latest of which is the departure of longtime bullpen coach Lester Strode. A beloved mainstay and favorite of bleacher denizens, Strode had been with the Cubs since 2007 and served under five different managers during that time.

As ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports, former Phillies pitching coach Chris Young is “among potential replacements” after interviewing for the job recently. That would seem to indicate that Strode has actually been out for a little while and the news is only now becoming public, which makes sense.

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that David Ross is going to have a decidedly different coaching staff from the one over which Joe Maddon presided, losing Strode is a bit of a shock. Among all the other iterations the Cubs have gone through, he represented continuity throughout and had seen both the best and worst the organization had to offer.

Best of luck to him in the next step of his journey, wherever that takes him.

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