On Friday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates announced two changes to their Major League coaching staff. Christian Marrero was added to the staff as the new assistant hitting coach. Marrero takes over for Mike Rabelo who will be the new Major League field coordinator. These moves come less than a month away from the start of Spring Training in Florida.
Marrero has spent the past three seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization where he was the hitting coach for Lakewood and Williamsport. Marrero is a former outfielder who played 12 seasons for affiliates for the White Sox, Pirates, Braves, and Phillies. The 34-year old Miami native spent 2012 in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league organization where he appeared in 13 games between double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. He will work directly with hitting coach Rick Eckstein.
Rabelo relinquishes his duties as assistant hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates to take over as the Major League field coordinator, which is a new position to the Pirate coaching staff. This position is a versatile position with many duties.
Rabelo will work closely with manager Derek Shelton and bench coach Don Kelly on MLB rules, practice design and in-game situations. In addition he will be front and center on the use of technology and innovation. He will also be in charge of ensuring alignment and consistency across the entire organization. Before joining the Pirates prior to the start of the 2020 season, Rabelo was a minor league manager for the Detroit Tigers.
Both moves addressed points of emphasis that the team has taken over the offseason. The Pirates hit just .220 in 2020 finishing the season with a league worst 219 runs scored. With new prospects being added over the offseason, and surely more to come in the future, Rabelo will act as a bridge between the big league club and the minors to insure consistency.