Cubs Hire New Farm Director, Promote New Pitching Director

As first reported by Astros writer Michael Schwab, the Cubs have hired Jason Kantzler as their new Director of Player Development. This fills the role previously held by Jared Banner before his promotion to assistant GM. It’s been a rapid ascension for the 33-year-old Kantzler, who started with the Astros in 2019 as a minor league hitting coach. He earned a spot on the big league staff in 2022 and was Houston’s assistant hitting coach last season.

Drafted as an outfielder in the 20th round by the Twins in 2013, Kantzler spent three seasons in the minors before retiring after the 2015 campaign. His time between playing and joining the Astros was spent as a teacher and as an assistant coach in the Cape Cod League.

This is an interesting hire for the Cubs, who have once again gone outside the organization to find a farm director. Banner came to them from the Mets — and was with the Red Sox for a bit during Hoyer’s tenure there — and now they’ve got someone who was part of a system known for developing pitchers in particular.

Speaking of which, Sahadev Sharma reported that the Cubs have also found Craig Breslow‘s replacement, promoting Ryan Otero from his previous position as assistant director of pitching. Otero has been with the Cubs since 2018 as part of their development staff, so he’s very familiar with how things operate.

We may do a deeper dive into these moves when I’m not dealing with a New Year’s hangover.

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