Catching Up With Pittsburgh Pirates Game Planning & Strategy Coach Radley Haddad
As baseball continues to change new coaching positions are created. Run prevention/strategy coach is a new position the Pittsburgh Pirates will have on their MLB staff in 2022. The man in that position will be Radley Haddad, who took time to answer some questions about his role.
Multiple changes were made to the major league coaching staff by the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason. While the changes that garnered the most attention were the firing of Joey Cora, with Mike Rabelo replacing him as third base coach, as well as Andy Haines being hired as the new hitting coach.
An under-the-radar addition the Pittsburgh Pirates made came when they hired Radley Haddad. Haddad, who spent four professional seasons as a catcher in the Yankee minor league system, was hired as a bullpen coach by the Bronx Bombers following the 2016 season. This began the transition of Haddad from player to coach, and transition he said was seamless.
“My first experience with coaching at the pro level was as a “player-coach” in short-season A-Ball with the Yankees Organization in 2016. I worked with the catchers at the affiliate in Staten Island and played 1-2 games a week.”
Haddad quickly made the jump to a MLB coaching role.
“I was then offered the Major League Bullpen Catcher job with the Yankees at the end of Spring Training 2017. In my time in that role I wore many different hats and handled various responsibilities but I gravitated toward the game-planning portion in the last few seasons which brought me to where I am now, thrilled to take on this great opportunity with the Pirates in 2022 & beyond”
The Pittsburgh Pirates hired Haddad to serve as a run prevention/strategy and game planning coach. With positions like this being new across baseball we wanted to delve deeper into what his role will look like.
“I think since it is so new, like you said, I am entering into it with an open mind about the daily flow of the job,” Haddad said. “I will be handling the research and development of the Pirates game plan toward opposing hitters. I will work very closely with (pitching coach) Oscar Marin, (bullpen coach) Justin Meccage, (catching coach) Glenn Sherlock and the Pirates pitchers and catchers to deliver and execute that game plan.”
“I will be in the dugout during games to serve as a resource to the Ps & Cs for in game adjustments and decision making, as well as consulting with the manager and coaching staff around bullpen management and matchups.”
When people hear run prevention, strategy and game day planning, a lot of minds likely jump to analytics. So, how much of Haddad’s job will include the use of analytics? “Quite heavily,” according to Haddad.
“I think the entire game now is relying on analytics in some way, shape or form, that meaning, simply the comparison or usage of advanced data. At the end of the day it will come down to our players abilities to execute our game plan better than the opponent on both sides of the ball, but, the access we have to information and projections is incredibly helpful to build out those game plans and make the right decisions.” Haddad will also use ‘old school’ styles as well. “I will also lean on video and scouting reports to supplement the analytic information and to answer questions that arise from the data.”
Ultimately, a mixture of analytics, what you see on video and what a scouting report tells you is likely the best way to devise a game plan not just in baseball but in any sport. This will be the way Haddad and the Pittsburgh Pirates go about things.
What will Haddad be looking to bring to the Pittsburgh Pirates? In his words, “A desire to help the players and the organization improve.” He added, “I saw where fellow new hire, hitting coach Andy Haines, said in an interview that this team is much closer than people think to making the city of Pittsburgh and Pirates fans all over very proud. I would echo that statement. I am very excited to work with this coaching staff, front office and group of very talented players to build a competitive team year in and year out. We are coming!”
Haddad finished off with this message for fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the city as a whole: “My family is incredibly happy to be joining the Pirates family and the Pittsburgh community. We look forward to interacting with you all and competing for this city and the great fans!”
Haddad should be a strong addition to the Pirate staff. He will have the opportunity to make an impact on the day-to-day operations of the team in 2022 and he is excited to be here. As he said to me as our conversation ended, “let’s get after it in 2022!”