Henry Blanco left the Diamondbacks today to join the Cubs coaching staff. Photo Courtesy of Rick Scuteri of USA TODAY Sports
The Diamondbacks coaching staff underwent more change on Saturday when assistant hitting coach Henry Blanco decided to leave the Dbacks to accept a position with the Cubs under their new manager Joe Maddon.
Blanco will be the Cubs quality assurance coach, and will work closely with the catchers.
Quality assurance usually do a little bit of everything including helping pitchers and catchers, charting pitches, and chatting with players pre-game. Mike Fetters is the Dbacks quality assurance coach.
Blanco spent last season as the Dbacks assistant coach. At the end of the 2013 season Blanco became a free agent, and expressed interest in playing one more season.
Once his playing career ended he wanted to coach. After not receiving any offers to play, he decided to stay with the Dbacks and join then manager Kirk Gibson’s staff.
Last month, the Diamondbacks announced that Blanco would return in a different role under new manager Chip Hale. He was being called a bullpen catcher, but in reality he was going to be coach for the pitchers and catchers.
This is a position that Blanco really wants to take, and ultimately Hale understands that. This is what he told the Arizona Republic:
“I’ve known Henry for along time – we were teammates with the Dodgers – and I was excited to have him on my staff and know how helpful he can be in a lot of different capacities,” Hale said. “I’m disappointed I lost him. But in this game, you have to happy for someone if they’re going to do something they want to do.”
Blanco played with the Cubs from 2005-2008, and was a fan favorite, so it’s no surprise that he made this decision.
This leaves the Dbacks without a Spanish speaker on their coaching staff. Hale plans on discussing that issue at the Winter Meetings.