Pittsburgh Pirates: Make or Break Season for Derek Shelton

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are entering a very important season in 2023.  Could the season mean even more for their current manager?

Derek Shelton has had three very unsuccessful seasons when it comes down to the numbers with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yes, we saw strides last year.  Yes, we know the cards he has been dealt over the last few years.  Still, the 2023 season should and needs to look different.

Derek Shelton was hired when the Pittsburgh Pirates Organization saw a complete overhaul.  Shelton was a logical candidate as he had ties to the Toronto Blue Jays where Ben Cherington was hired from.  Also, he has been a coaching candidate in the past and is most known for his years with Tampa and Joe Maddon.

So far as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Shelton has compiled a losing record.  Overall he has won 142 games while losing 242.  This gives him a winning percentage of .370, not exactly inspiring.

It is tough to truly base Shelton’s ability to manage purely based on his record.  As I said earlier we know that he was hired at the beginning of a rebuild.  From the Front Office up, all are aware of the situation that Shelton was brought in to manage.

Still, the 2022 season represented more than just a third straight 100-loss season.  In fact, the youth movement may have been just as representative.  This type of roster change has been waiting for since the rebuild began.  Now as fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates we are seeing some of the key pieces for the future.

Another 100-loss season is not acceptable.  The Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that is quickly evolving.  With top prospects like Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras leading the pack, this team should be in a better position to compete in 2023.  The question is whether or not Derek Shelton will allow the team to take that next step.  He needs to fully embrace the culture of youth and allow those players to continue and grow.  If not, then it may be time to move on from the skipper.