The Pittsburgh Pirates have found their next manager. The team has hired Derek Shelton to be the 41st manager in franchise history. The move comes less than two weeks after the team named Ben Cherrington its new general manager.
The Pirates have hired Derek Shelton as our 41st Manager of the organization.
Shelton has 15 years of coaching experience and spent the last two seasons as the bench coach of the Minnesota Twins. pic.twitter.com/nbm6Es4Qoc
— Pirates (@Pirates) November 27, 2019
He was specifically able to learn under two Manager of the Year award winners as Twins bench coach. Paul Molitor had won the award the season prior to Shelton’s first as bench coach, and Rocco Baldelli won the award this past season.
The Job Ahead
Derek Shelton will take over a Pirates team that is in a tough spot from an on-the-field-standpoint. The team was in contention for the NL Central at the All-Star break, but they collapsed in the second half to finish 69-93, 22 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place.
They were 25-48 in the second half. For the season, they had a -153 run differential, the second worst in the National League.
There are some promising pieces in place for Shelton to manager. Josh Bell enjoyed a breakout season in which he was named an All-Star. He hit 37 home runs with 116 RBI while posting a slash line of .277/.367/.569. He also totaled 300 bases and scored 94 runs.
Bryan Reynolds hit .314 in 594 plate appearances to finish fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting. His final slash line was .314/.377/.503, and he hit 16 home runs with 64 RBI.
The team’s .264 average was the best in the NL, but they still finished 11th in terms of runs scored while the pitching staff finished 14th in terms of ERA.
Struggling to score runs and an inability to prevent runs is never a good formula for success, but with Shelton taking over in this new regime, some changes are sure to come for the Pirates.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images