Cubs hire assistant hitting coach, to begin 3B coach search

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The Cubs filled one of the two vacancies on their coaching staff, as new team president Jed Hoyer announced Monday they’ve named Chris Valaika the new assistant hitting coach.

Valaika takes over for Terrmel Sledge, whom the Cubs parted ways with last month.

Valaika joined the Cubs organization as a coach in 2017. He served as Triple-A Iowa's hitting coach in 2018 before getting promoted to Cubs minor league hitting coordinator in 2019, a position he held the past two seasons. The 35-year-old former infielder played in parts of four big league seasons (2010-11, 2013-14), including a 44-game stint on the North Side in 2014.

“He’s wonderful," Hoyer said. “We couldn’t be more excited about Val.”

The Cubs’ second coaching staff vacancy opened last week when the Red Sox hired third base coach Will Venable as their bench coach. 

Hoyer said the Cubs are excited for Venable, who was also their outfield instructor. The Cubs have had discussions about the vacancy and expect to begin a search process for Venable's replacement “over the next week or so,” according to Hoyer.

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