Pittsburgh Pirates Continue To Shake Up Their Coaching Staff


The Pittsburgh Pirates announced two more changes to their MLB coaching staff on Thursday

Sunday morning, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the firing of manager Clint Hurdle. This brought the Hurdle Era to an end after nine seasons. When this move was announced, it was expected there would be other changes to the Pirate coaching staff.

The next two shoes to fall with the Pirate coaching staff came on Thursday. On Thursday, the team announced that neither pitching coach Ray Searage nor bench coach Tom Prince would return in 2020. The team also added that the rest of the current staff will be retained and their fates will be up to the new manager when they are hired.

The dismissal of Searage is the bigger piece of news of the two. While it is no surprise Searage was let go, it is still somewhat surprising that Searage ever found himself in a position to be fired by the Pirates.

Searage became the Pirates’ pitching coach in 2010, and quickly became viewed as arguably the best pitching coach in baseball. Under his guidance, the Pirate pitching staff was the backbone of postseason berths in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Searage’s pitchers also helped pitched the team to winning record in 2018.

During his time in Pittsburgh Searage was fondly known as ‘Uncle Ray’ due to his ability to connect with pitchers and help get them on the right path. Under the guidance of Searage the Pirates became known as the go to organizations for pitchers looking to revitalize their careers. Searage successful helped A.J. Burnett, Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, J.A. Happ, Jason Grilli, Joe Blanton, and Mark Melancon, among others, get their careers back on track.

However, in recent seasons the opposite started to happen with Searage. He failed to get the most out of Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow who went on to find great success elsewhere. Furthermore, on Searage’s watch perennial All-Star Chris Archer had the worst season of his career in 2019.

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Prince played catcher for the Pirates from 1987 through 1993. After spending one season as the manager of the Double-A Altoona Curve (2015) and one as the Pirates’ minor league field coordinator (2016) he was promoted to bench coach for the 2017 season. He went on to serve this role for three seasons.