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Cubs minor-league coach Jacob Cruz leaves to join Pirates

The Cubs’ coaching infrastructure took another hit as minor-league hitting coordinator Jacob Cruz has left to organization to become the assistant hitting coach with the Pirates.

A source confirmed the departure of Cruz, 45, who joined the Cubs in 2017 as the hitting coach at Double-A Tennessee before he was elevated to coordinator duties in 2018. Cruz joins new hitting coach Rick Eckstein, as the Pirates revamped their hitting department after the 2018 season following the firing of hitting coach Jeff Branson and assistant Jeff Livesey.

Cruz spent six seasons as a hitting coach in the Diamondbacks organization, where he helped retool the swing of Mariners All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger.

This marks the fourth transaction in the Cubs’ hitting department. Chili Davis was fired as hitting coach and replaced by Anthony Iapoce. Assistant hitting coach Andy Haines left to become the hitting coach for the Brewers. In addition, pitching coach Jim Hickey left the organization for personal reasons.

Cruz, an All-American outfielder at Arizona State, played parts of nine seasons with the Giants, Indians, Rockies, Tigers and Reds.

Twitter @MDGonzales

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