The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Jacob Cruz as their assistant hitting coach. Cruz was the minor league hitting coordinator for the Chicago Cubs this past season. He joins Rick Eckstein, who was hired as the new hitting coach earlier this month, on the Major League staff.
Cruz attended Arizona State University and was a 1st round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 1994. He spent parts of nine seasons in the majors, last playing pro ball in 2010. Since retiring as a player, and before joining the Cubs in 2017, he spent six seasons as a minor league hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks at various levels.
The Pirates parted ways with hitting coach Jeff Branson and assistant hitting coach Jeff Livesey one day after the 2018 season ended.