The Pittsburgh Pirates decided to fire their two hitting coaches a few weeks ago. Now they may need to find a new bench coach.
At the end of the season, many fans believed it was time to shake up the Pittsburgh Pirates coaching staff. They did this when they fired their hitting coach in Jeff Branson and assistant hitting coach Jeff Livesey. That was the only departures the team decided to do. However, the team possibly could lose other coaches to other organizations.
This is becoming more of a reality. According to Bobby Nightengale of the Inquirer and Mark Sheldon, the Reds beat writer for MLB.com, the team from the Queen City has interviewed Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Tom Prince. Prince would represent another coach leaving the Pittsburgh Pirates to join the Reds. Jay Bell did this after the 2013 season. Chad Thornbur, a writer at MLB.com, listed other suitors for the Red’s job:
"“Prince joins a long list of candidates in whom the Reds have expressed interest. Last week, they interviewed former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, former Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus and Giants vice president of player development David Bell, and they were scheduled to meet with Giants bench coach Hensley Muelens and Rays bench coach Charlie Montoyo this week.Interim manager Jim Riggleman, scout and former Red Sox manager John Farrell and three members of the coaching staff — Billy Hatcher, Pat Kelly and Freddie Benavides — are among the internal candidates for the job.”"
Prince has been part of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization for 24 seasons. This includes the years 1987-1993 when he was in the organization as a young catching prospect. He went on to be a part of four other organizations until he retired in 2003. After retiring, he came back to the Pirates organization and worked his way up the minor league levels. Finally, he joined the MLB staff after the end of the 2016 season. He has been one of the bench coaches over the last two years.
At the age of 54, and Clint Hurdle coming off of a winning season, Prince might be looking for an opportunity to make a name as a big league manager. The Reds would be an interesting team to join. They had a bit of a better year in 2018 than in 2017. They also have a lot of young pieces, including one of the top prospects in baseball in Nick Senzel, who is big league ready. The Reds are an organization who could be on the upswing of things rather than on the downturn.