Phoenix — Joe Maddon’s desire to manage the Cubs past the 2019 season hasn’t changed. In fact, he said reverting to his old developmental methods has invigorated him.
“Right now I feel like I’m in the mid-1980s Instructional League with the Angels right down the street the way I’m dealing with the day,” Maddon said of working with the Cubs’ young players. “It’s wide open. There’s a lot of room for creativity and change. An openness about the players I haven’t experienced in a while. There’s a lot of stuff going on that I feel is fascinating.”
Maddon said he wasn’t aware that he earned his 400th victory as Cubs manager Saturday until his daughter told him, but he immediately shifted all the credit to all the players and expressed his appreciation for working for the organization.
Maddon reached the milestone in his 674th game. Only Frank Chance (594) and Cap Anson (606) reached the mark in fewer games. Maddon became the fastest manager to 400 wins with a team since Joe Torre with the Yankees from 1996-99, according to STATS.
A reporter suggested that Maddon was the greatest manager in franchise history, considering his win total in a short span and that the 2016 World Series title was their first since 1908.
Maddon replied that many good managers and players preceded him with the Cubs.
As for his future, he said, “I definitely want to come back. That has not changed.”
Butterfield sidelined again
Coach Brian Butterfield was sidelined with a recurrence of vertigo-like symptoms.
Butterfield didn’t accompany the team to Miami two weeks ago because of the ailment, and Maddon indicated that team doctor Stephen Adams believed Butterfield might have tried to return too soon.
Butterfield is expected to resume his full duties Tuesday night in Seattle. First-base coach Will Venable moved to third, and quality assurance coach Chris Denorfia took over at first.
The Cubs return to interleague play Tuesday night against the Mariners, and Kyle Schwarber likely will handle the designated hitter duties against Felix Hernandez. Maddon said he wasn’t sure who would be the Cubs’ DH Wednesday against left-hander Marco Gonzales. … Triple-A Iowa tied two modern-era Pacific Coast League records in the second game of its doubleheader against Nashville. Iowa scored 15 runs in the first inning, a feat previously accomplished twice. Grand slams by Phillip Evans and Johnny Field in the first marked the fourth time in PCL history that a team hit two grand slams in an inning.