The Cubs today officially named Pat Listach their bench coach. They also promoted minor-league hitting coordinator Dave Keller to the position of major-league staff assistant. We expect to hear from manager Mike Quade and GM Jim Hendry this afternoon.
We’ll try to get updates on the status of outfield prospect Brett Jackson, who has been hospitalized with an infection in his right calf and will miss the rest of the fall season.
UPDATES: Here are a few more tidbits from today's conference call:
--Ryne Sandberg won't return as manager at Class AAA Iowa. He likely will pursue other major-league jobs. If there is nothing out there for Ryne, Hendry said he'd be welcome back in the Cubs organization if there was a job that interested both parties.
The Cubs were quick and forceful in shooting down a tweet by national baseball writer Bob Nightengale, who wrote that the Cubs offered Sandberg the bench-coach job, but he turned it down. The Cubs said no such offer was made.
--Hendry said farm director Oneri Fleita would fill the vacancy at Iowa. Hendry praised Bill Dancy, the manager at Class AA Tennessee. He also said Tom Beyers would be promoted from hitting coach at Tennessee to minor-league hitting coordinator, the job Keller had.
--Pitcher Chris Archer, the Cubs' minor-league pitcher of the year, soon will be added to the 40-man roster. "He'll come to camp as a 40-man roster guy, and I hope he gives Mike Quade and (pitching coach) Larry Rothschild something really positive to look at. We all think he's a high-end guy. Whether he's ready at the end of camp or somewhere during the season remains to be seen. I think we're certainly seeing a whole lot of quality pitchers in the big leagues in their early 20s. It will be real simple. If Mike and his staff deem that he's ready, then he'll get a look sooner than later."
--Third baseman Aramis Ramirez figures to make it official as early as Thursday that he has re-upped for 2011 for $14.6 million. Ramirez had an out clause in his contract, but he told us repeatedly, and again in Houston on the final weekend of the season, that he'd be back.
--Jackson, the first-round pick from 2009, will be out "a few weeks" with the lower-leg infection we mentioned on the last blog. Hendry said that once Jackson takes some time off, they'll map out a strategy going into spring training for Jackson.