By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Pittsburgh Pirates have found their new manager. The team has hired Derek Shelton to the role, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This will be Shelton’s first opportunity to manage a team. He spent the last two seasons as the Minnesota Twins bench coach.
Shelton was in the mix from almost the beginning for this job. Once Ben Cherington was named the team’s GM, he became a favorite before getting the job.
“I have known Derek for more than 15 years and have great admiration for his passion for the game and players, work ethic, curiosity and desire to learn,” Cherington said in a statement released by the team. “He has worked and learned from some of the best in the game, and in turn has helped players and colleagues learn and improve during his 20 years of coaching and managing.
“We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the major league level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day. We are thrilled to get to work with Derek and continue building toward a winning team in Pittsburgh.”
He was in the mix for other jobs. However, he could not secure his first managerial job until this opening.
Shelton replaces Clint Hurdle. He was fired in Sept. following a 69-93 record.
Hurdle had been the team’s manager since the 2011 season. However, the 69 win season was his worst during his tenure, as the previously lowest was 72 during his first season with the team.
The 69 wins were the fewest as a franchise since the 2010 season when the team had 57 wins and 105 losses under John Russell.
He was also employed by the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2017 season. He worked for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2010 through 2016.
Shelton began his coaching career with the Cleveland Indians, where he was employed from 2005 through 2009.
“My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise,” Shelton said in a statement. “One of the most exciting things for me during the interview process was just how evident the passion for Pittsburgh and the desire to succeed was with everyone I interacted with.
“I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with Ben and the baseball operations staff. It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other. It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organization.”