Derek Shelton Hired As Pittsburgh Pirates 41st Manager

Derek Shelton
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 02: Bench coach Derek Shelton #8 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Oakland Athletics on July 2, 2019 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Twins 8-6. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

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.

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Shelton takes over following a nine-year stint by Clint Hurdle as manager. With 15 total seasons as a coach, Shelton spent the last two seasons as Minnesota Twins bench coach.

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.

Shelton was also in the running for the New York Mets managerial opening. That job ultimately went to Carlos Beltran.

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.

The team hit rock-bottom in a seven-day span when a clubhouse fight sent Kyle Crick to the injured list and closer Felipe Vazquez was arrested.

The Positives

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 Outlook

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

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DJ is a baseball fanatic that loves to talk about the game's history and debate it's current happenings. DJ always had a passion to write, even though he graduated college with a degree in Marketing, and it was one day while sitting in his cubicle at work that he decided to make a career change. and apply to write for LWOS. He currently contributes in depth coverage of all of MLB with an emphasis on the Yankees and Mets. DJ also freelances at MLB/NHL Network in addition to writing for LWOS, and loves to read and watch college basketball when not immersed in the happenings of baseball.

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