SOUTH BEND, IN - In conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, the South Bend Cubs have announced the team’s field staff for the 2024 Midwest League season. Nick Lovullo is the new South Bend manager, marking his first managerial stop with a Cubs full-season affiliate. He is joined by new pitching
SOUTH BEND, IN - In conjunction with the Chicago Cubs, the South Bend Cubs have announced the team’s field staff for the 2024 Midwest League season. Nick Lovullo is the new South Bend manager, marking his first managerial stop with a Cubs full-season affiliate. He is joined by new pitching coach Bruce Billings, as well as first-year hitting coach Nate Spears.
Nick Lovullo’s time with the Cubs organization began as a coach two years ago, bringing a rich baseball history embedded in his heritage. A former Boston Red Sox prospect, the 30-year-old Lovullo was drafted in the 20th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by Boston, after a collegiate playing career at Holy Cross (Massachusetts). Lovullo’s best college season came in 2015, where he hit .278 in 50 games, and finished that year with more walks (31) than strikeouts (29). The excellent Patriot League numbers earned him an opportunity to play with the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League that same summer. He grew up and played his high school baseball in Thousand Oaks, California. In his first pro season, Lovullo was promoted as high as Double-A Portland. His professional career concluded in 2021, with a stop with the Miami Marlins organization, as well as independent baseball. The son of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, Nick became the Double-A Tennessee Smokies bench coach in 2022, and managed the Arizona Complex League Cubs in 2023.
Bruce Billings joins South Bend for the 2024 season as the club’s pitching coach, following a successful year with Low-A Myrtle Beach in the same role. Under Billings’ leadership, the Pelicans pitching staff posted the lowest opposing batting average in the Carolina League last season, as well as the second most strikeouts. The former big leaguer enjoyed a collegiate playing career at San Diego State, before being selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 MLB Draft. Billings was San Diego State’s all-time strikeout leader, before Stephen Strasburg broke the record in his time with the Aztecs. He made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2011, and also pitched in the MLB with the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees. Billings also pitched professionally overseas in both Taiwan and China. Prior to joining the Cubs, Billings served as a coach with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
Nate Spears begins his first season with the South Bend Cubs as the team’s new hitting coach. Also bringing Major League playing experience to the coaching staff, Spears began his playing career with the Baltimore Orioles; After the ‘O’s’ selected him in the fifth-round of the 2003 MLB Draft out of high school. The Fort Myers, Florida native got his first taste of Chicago Cubs baseball when the Orioles traded him to the Northsiders in the Corey Patterson deal in 2006. Spears played for former South Bend manager Buddy Bailey in 2008 with Double-A Tennessee, eventually making it to Triple-A Iowa. His career then took him to the Boston Red Sox, where he made his MLB debut. Spears played for Boston in 2011 and 2012, where he was a teammate of former South Bend pitching coach Clayton Mortensen. As a coach, he stayed with the Red Sox, and wound up coaching Nick Lovullo when the new South Bend skipper was a Red Sox prospect.
Returning to the staff is Development Coach (Pitching) Andrew Rueter. Rueter, the former right-handed pitcher for the University of Redlands, helped oversee a pitching staff last season that punched out 1191 batters; good for fourth in the Midwest League. Before South Bend, Rueter spent time as a coach in independent baseball with the Florence Y’alls.
New to the South Bend coaching staff is Development Coach Marco Romero. Romero was the Player Development Coach for the Tennessee Smokies in 2023. In 2022, he graduated from Indiana University with a Business Management degree and a minor in Entrepreneurship.
Also calling South Bend home for a second straight campaign are athletic trainer Nick Roberts and strength and conditioning coach Kelcey Mosley. A 2019 graduate of Florida State University, Roberts begins his fourth season with the Chicago Cubs athletic training staff. Mosley earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in sports and exercise science. He starts his second season in the Cubs organization.
Single game tickets for the 2024 season go on sale Wednesday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET. The South Bend Cubs open season on the road at Quad Cities for a three-game series April 5-7. The home opener at Four Winds Field is Tuesday, April 9, at 7:05 PM. Gates open at 5:00 PM.
About the South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs are the High-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Over the past 35 seasons, the team has won five Midwest League titles, most recently in 2022, and captured nine division titles. In 2023, the organization was selected as the Single-A Bob Freitas Award recipient by Baseball America. Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs, was voted Best High-A ballpark in the country by Ballpark Digest in 2022 and 2023, having also won the award as a Low-A ballpark in 2017. In 2019, the South Bend Cubs hosted the final Midwest League All-Star Game. In 2015 the team was named Ballpark Digest's Team of the Year and received the John H. Johnson President's Award, the highest award in minor league baseball. The team is owned and operated by Swing-Batter-Swing, LLC whose principal shareholder is Andrew T. Berlin of Chicago, Ill.