Is a favorite starting to emerge in the Pittsburgh Pirates search for a new manager? It appears that may be the case.
For 18 days the Pittsburgh Pirates have been a MLB team without a manager. This is a result of firing Clint Hurdle after he spent nine years at the helm for the Pirates. However, a favorite could be emerging in the search for the Pirates’ new manager.
In the past two weeks multiple names have been connected to the Pirates. Long time Pirate coach Jeff Bannister, Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson, A’s quality control coach Mark Kotsay, Minnesota Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, and former Pirate catcher and current Kansas City Royals front office assistant Jason Kendall have all been connected to the job. Well, it appears that one of these guys may be separating themselves from the pack.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Christenson is slated to interview for the job next week. However, Shelton has already interviewed for the job. Furthermore, he is now viewed as a the odds on favorite to become the next manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 49-year-old Shelton is well respected in baseball circles and viewed as a future manager. Even if it is not with the Pirates, it is expected that Shelton will be a MLB manager in 2020. He has also already interviewed with the New York Mets.
There is a lot to like about Shelton and it is easy to see why he could be emerging as the favorite to be the Pirates’ new manager. He has spent four years as the hitting coach of the Cleveland Indians (2005 – 2009) and seven seasons in the same role with the Tampa Bay Rays (2010 – 2016). After spending the 2017 season as the Toronto Blue Jays’ quality control coach, he has spend the past two seasons as the bench coach of the Minnesota Twins.
Shelton also has a history with Pirate general manager Neal Huntington. During Shelton’s first two seasons as Indians’ hitting coach, Huntington worked in the Cleveland front office. So, Huntington has first hand experience of the work Shelton is capable of.