Don Kelly Named New Pittsburgh Pirates Bench Coach, And Other Coaching Staff Announcements


The Pittsburgh Pirates announced a slew of coaching staff moves on Saturday

Earlier this week the Pittsburgh Pirates announced Derek Shelton as the team’s new manager. On Saturday they followed this up with another slew of coaching staff announcements.

The first announcement was that Pittsburgh native, and former Pirate utility man, Don Kelly would be joining Shelton’s staff. Kelly will serve as Shelton’s bench coach.

Kelly’s return home came after he spent the 2019 season as the first base coach for the Houston Astros. Kelly’s time in Houston came after he spent the 2017 season as a scout and assistant on the Detroit Tigers development staff, and 2018 as a Major League scout for the Tigers.

His run with the Pirates came in 2007. Kelly then played for the Tigers in 2009-2014, and for the Miami Marlins in 2015 and 2016. During his time with the Tigers, former Tigers and Pirates manager Jim Leyland often sung the praises of Kelly and said he was a future MLB manager.

By all accounts Kelly is a strong addition to the Pirate coaching staff. In fact, Kelly was a guy some had pegged as a candidate to replace Clint Hurdle as Pirates’ manager. Odds are, becoming the Pirates’ bench coach is not the only promotion he was offered this offseason.

In addition to Kelly, three other coaching staff announcements were made. Joey Cora will remain the team’s third base coach, Rick Eckstein will still serve as hitting coach and Justin Meccage will remain on staff as well. Meccage previously served as assistant hitting coach, but his new role is being defined as TBA.

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While some staff moves have been made, there are more to come from Shelton. The Pirates still need a pitching coach, as well as someone to replace first base coach and outfielder instructor Kimera Bartee. Additionally, it remains to be seen if Cora will still serve as infield instructor or not. We also do not yet know the fate of the bullpen staff, but it appears a safe bet that Herbie Andrade and Eucky Rojas will remain on staff.