The SF Giants will be looking to fill at least one vacancy this winter. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Brian Bannister will be joining the Chicago White Sox as they remake their front office. He had been the director of pitching for the Giants since the start of the 2020 season.
SF Giants lose key pitching voice to the Chicago White Sox
Nightengale confirmed that the White Sox poached several more personnel, including Josh Barfield from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Gene Watson from the Kansas City Royals. Barfield will serve as an assistant general manager, whereas Bannister and Watson will be involved in pitching development and player development, respectively.
The White Sox have begun shaking things up this summer after dismissing Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn. Both Williams and Hahn had been working in Chicago's front office for a very long time. The White Sox conducted a brief search before landing on former infielder Chris Getz as the next head of their front office.
Getz's first order of business has been to rebuild the front office and he has done so by making some nice additions. Bannister was well-regarded in his role with the Giants but he is seemingly taking a lateral position with the White Sox. It may not be identical in terms of title, but working in pitching development is what he did with San Francisco.
Since Bannister joined San Francisco's front office in 2019, the Giants have posted a 3.80 ERA, which ranks as the sixth-best mark during that span. The Los Angeles Dodgers (3.27 ERA), Tampa Bay Rays (3.61 ERA), and the Houston Astros (3.64 ERA) have all performed better, and not surprisingly, are considered some of the better teams in terms of pitching development.
The Giants have had a lot of success with finding and developing pitching lately with players like Kevin Gausman, Drew Smyly, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Cobb, and even Jakob Junis. Of course, Carlos Rodón could be included in that mix but he was coming off of a solid season before he joined the Giants.
This success has been due in part to altering pitch mix to optimize a pitcher's best offerings. And, removing pitches from a repertoire that either do not have a purpose or are not effective. It is hard to argue with the results, but the Giants will be looking for a replacement this winter.