ST. PETERSBURG — Former Rays and Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey was back at the Trop on Tuesday, and is back in baseball, starting a player development job with the Dodgers.
Hickey, 57, has kept a low profile since re-signing unexpectedly in November from his post with the Cubs for what was said to be "personal reasons,' spending just one season with his hometown team, reunited with former Rays boss Joe Maddon.
He declined Tuesday to discuss any specifics of his departure from the Cubs, saying only it was a "parting of the ways.''
At the time, Cubs baseball operations chief Theo Epstein issued a statement, saying “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”
Hickey said Tuesday he has been doing well, with no health issues, saying he has been watching a lot of games and joking that he was tired of doing yard work.
He will be a special assistant in player development for the Dodgers, working there for another former Rays boss in Andrew Friedman, who now runs baseball ops in L.A., and a former Rays pitcher in Brandon Gomes, who is assistant GM. Hickey will start by visiting with the pitchers on their minor-league affiliates.
Hickey spent 11 seasons with the Rays before leaving after last season by what was said to be mutual agreement with one year remaining on his contract, and was immediately replaced by Kyle Snyder.