This was widely viewed as primarily a lateral move or being “kicked upstairs” as well as an acknowledgment that things weren’t going well in the team’s minor-league system and that changes were coming and among them would be naming a “director of hitting” and “director of pitching” for the system.
Thursday, the Cubs announced the following moves within the front office’s leadership roles for the minor-league system via press release.
Matt Dorey has been named Senior Vice President, Player Development. This marks a shift to player development for Dorey, who has spent the last six years as the club’s director of amateur scouting (2014-19) after joining the Cubs in 2012 as a national crosschecker. The 2020 season will mark Dorey’s ninth in the Cubs organization.
Bobby Basham has been named Director of Player Development. He most recently served as Director of Special Projects/Assistant Director of Player Development (2018-19). Basham joined the Cubs in 2012 and has held a variety of roles, including major league scouting coordinator (2012-13), assistant director of advance scouting and major league strategy (2014) and assistant director of minor league operations (2015-17).
Craig Breslow has been named Director of Pitching/Special Assistant to the President and General Manager. As Director of Pitching, Breslow will be tasked with the strategic management of the club’s minor league pitching infrastructure. He will also contribute to the organization more generally as a Special Assistant to the President/GM. Breslow joined the Cubs last January as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations after completing a 12-year major league pitching career.
Justin Stone has been named Director of Hitting. Stone, who has served as a biokinematic hitting consultant for the Cubs since 2018, has 20 years of coaching and teaching experience and started Elite Baseball Training in Chicago in 2011, a technology-infused baseball and softball instructional company, to provide hitting instruction by merging and embracing baseball and technology. In this new strategic management role, Stone will lead the club’s minor league hitting infrastructure and play a critical role in tracking the progress, adherence, and success of the club’s minor league hitting development plans while also serving as hitting coordinator at the lower levels.
Jeremy Farrell has been named Assistant Director of Baseball Development, tasked with working across all areas of player development to maintain the club’s organizational philosophy with respect to fundamentals and competitive standards. Farrell spent the 2019 season as the club’s minor league field coordinator, his fourth season in the organization overall, as he has also served one season as minor league infield coordinator (2018) and two seasons as a minor league hitting coach (2016-17). He had a seven-year minor league career as an infielder in the Pirates (2008-12) and White Sox (2013-15) organizations. Farrell’s brother Luke pitched for the Cubs in 2018, his brother Shane is a Cubs area scout and his father John is a former major-league manager and pitching coach.
With the announcement of the club’s new player development leadership structure, Jaron Madison has been named Special Assistant to the President/General Manager, a player evaluation role with emphasis on professional, amateur and international scouting. Madison has 18 years in pro baseball, including the last eight seasons with the Cubs as director of amateur scouting (Aug. 2012-13) and director of player development (2014-19).
The Cubs press release concluded:
The Cubs will announce further player development hirings and a new scouting leadership structure at a later date.