The Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are about to name a new coaching staff for manager Clint Hurdle, and it includes several familiar faces. Ray Searage, who took over for Joe Kerrigan in the middle of last season and mostly got good results, will stay on as pitching coach. Jeff Banister, who was a finalist for the managerial position, will be the third-base coach. The new hitting coach will be Gregg Ritchie, who was previously the Pirates' minor-league hitting coordinator, and helped young hitters like Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata get through the minor-league system. The only new addition is bench coach Nick Leyva, who was the Blue Jays' bench coach last year. The Post-Gazette notes that Leyva is probably Hurdle's pick.â†µ
These hires might spur some complaining about the woeful Pirates not hiring more new faces, but I think they're fine. We'll see how Searage turns out, but it's hard to argue with the results he got after being hired last season, particularly with Charlie Morton. Banister is well-regarded. The Pirates have run a very tight ship at the minor-league level in the past two years and have mostly done a good job getting prospects to the majors, so I'm fine with Ritchie being promoted, especially since he's very familiar with the Bucs' most important young hitters.