Last week, we learned that the Cubs had filled an important organizational opening by hiring Vanderbilt pitching coach Derek Johnson to the be the new minor league pitching coordinator.

Now the Cubs have hired, essentially, his hitting counterpart.

Yesterday the Cubs announced that they had hired former roving Blue Jays hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce as a “Special Assistant to the GM/Player Development.” Though he isn’t being called the “minor league hitting coordinator,” he’s going to oversee the minor league hitting program, so that’s essentially what he’ll be. He’ll also contribute in other ways the organization, which is probably why he got the “Special Assistant” title.

The official press release:

The Chicago Cubs today named Anthony Iapoce special assistant to the General Manager/Player Development.

Iapoce, 39, will oversee the club’s minor league hitting program and contribute to additional projects within the organization. He joins the Cubs after spending the last three seasons as the roving hitting coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays. Prior to joining the Blue Jays organization, Iapoce served as the hitting coach for the Marlins Single-A Jupiter affiliate for two seasons from 2008-09.

A former outfielder, Iapoce played 11 seasons in the minor leagues in the Brewers and Marlins organizations, as well as independent ball, after being selected by Milwaukee in the 33rd round of the 1994 Draft. He reached the Triple-A level four different times and was a career .273 hitter with a .342 on-base percentage in 845 professional games.

This appears to be more of a “diamond in the rough” type of hire, as opposed to a “big name” hire (as it was with Johnson). That doesn’t mean that Iapoce isn’t well known in baseball circles, of course.

  • ETS

    cubs interested in dan haren. Deadline on the option is today.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, watching Twitter now. The twats are really flying…

  • Curt

    true according to Jon hetman , Red Sox also involved but ill wait would rather hear it from Brett , Brett can always validate it one way of the other.

  • Curt

    damn auto-spell lol.

  • Richard Nose

    What is everybody’s opinion on BJ Upton and the Cubs? MLBTR quoted someone estimating him at 5 yrs $60 mill. I dont think he fits in to the Cubs plans and I wish he’d live up to his potential. But I love him as an athlete and that money doesn’t seem too bad.

    • Norm

      He’s got 4000 plate app’s in the game. I think it’s time to stop thinking about ‘potential’ with him, and just accept what he is. And in his last 4 years, he’s got a .315 OBP or so. I don’t think that’s the kind of player Theo wants to invest $12-$15M/year on.

      He’s a good player and a good addition for a team like the Phillies or Nats…but not the Cubs.

      • Richard Nose

        If only you couldve told Theo and Jed about how potential no longer becomes potential when they acquired Volstad. I agree with Upton not being a good fit though.

        • Tim

          Volstad was the best they were going to get to dump that pile of attitude some like to call Carlos Zambrano

  • North Side Irish

    Slightly off topic, but it involves hitting coaches….

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Mark McGwire has informed the Cardinals that he will be accepting the hitting coach pos of Dodgers

    • Dr. Percival Cox

      Dear God. That team is going to have the first trillion dollar payroll in a few years.