Jeff Branson has been named the latest Pittsburgh Pirates new hitting coach replacing Jay Bell who left for greener pastures. So, the Gold Medal winning Branson will immediately become the favorite target of Buccos fans in about, oh, six months. In what appears to be the move to replace Branson, who was the assistant hitting coach, the Pirates said Jeff Livesey will join the Major League staff, but he was simply named a “coach” in the press release.
So with the Livesey promotion, the Pirates would appear to have an opening for their Minor League Hitting Coordinator position. Update your resume all of you armchair ‘SWING AT THE FIRST PITCH!’ hitting coaches out there.
Branson spent 12 years with the Pirates. Before being promoted last season, he was the Indianapolis Indians hitting coach for three seasons. The hitting coach job has been quite a revolving door for the Pirates.
Livesey had been in the Minor League Coordinator job for three seasons and spent eight years with the Bucs prior to his promotion to Minor League Hitting Coordinator.
So men are moving throughout the organization, but why wasn’t a replacement announced for Livesey’s position? We assume Pags is going to stick at Indy as the hitting coach, but why? [If you don't know Pags, check out our thoughts on him]
If the Minor League Hitting Coordinator job is the stepping stone path to the majors why didn’t Pags land the job when Livesey was promoted? Is getting Gregory Polanco and the Indy hitters off to a hot start more important than being the guy at 20,000 feet looking after all of the hitting talent in the Bucs minor league system? We think the announcement today says so and might speak loudly about what the Pirates intend to do in right field, at least at this moment.
Polanco must be ready to go come June. Pags must be the man to do that job. But still, we think it’s going to be very interesting, at least to us, to see who gets announced as the new hitting coordinator, and if Pags gets stuck in AAA, just how long does he plan on riding out that job?
If the Minor League Hitting Coordinator is the job before you get to hang out in the dugout at PNC Park, whoever is picked should be held in very high regard by the Pirates. Stay tuned….and get that resume updated.
Livesey’s bio was unavailable on the Pirates website, apparently still being worked on by the marketing team, but Branson’s bio is up at Pirates.com