Derek Shelton: Living in Hot Water

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Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton is about as successful at leading his ballclub this season as Elizabeth Holmes was as the head of Theranos.

They both seemed to be successful at first, didn't they?

After getting his contract extended in April when the Pirates were 20-8 and in first place, Shelton's Pirates have been playing at a winning percentage of .333%.

Friday night's loss vs. the San Francisco Giants was yet another stain on what has been a tormenting season for Pirates fans.

Once again, Derek Shelton put together a losing lineup.

In the top of the 7th inning with the Pirates winning 4-3, reliever Colin Holderman allowed a leadoff double by Giants' first baseman Wilmer Flores. After getting the next batter to pop out, Holderman walked J.D. Davis.

Following that, a passed ball by Pirates' catcher Austin Hedges allowed Flores and Davis to reach 2nd and 3rd base.

As of now, there is a lot to uncover here.

Firstly, Fans and analysts have grown exceedingly frustrated that the 2021 #1 overall pick, catcher Henry Davis has been stuck out in right field while Austin Hedges has remained the go-to catcher for Shelton. After all, why draft a catcher if you're not going to play him at his favored position?

Meanwhile, the Pirates have another young catcher by the name of Endy Rodriguez that is waiting in Triple-A Indianapolis to be called up.

When you couple the catcher fiasco with faulty pitching choices, Shelton has screwed up a whole lot.

Now, back to the 7th inning.

Ironically enough, the Giants' Patrick Bailey hit a hard single to Henry Davis in right field. The young, inexperienced outfielder committed a costly error by letting the ball go under his glove, allowing the Giants baserunners both to score, squandering the Pirates' lead. This all happened immediately after the Pirates rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Derek Shelton then decides to make a pitching change and replace Holderman with Ryan Borucki. Wait a minute, couldn't Shelton have done that prior to the game-changing single?

Yes, yes he could have.

Shelton also could have put an actual outfielder in right field, started Henry Davis as the catcher (his preferred position), as well as taken out a struggling Holderman one batter earlier. That is what a successful manager would have done.

When asked after the game if he planned on allocating catcher reps any differently, Shelton responded "No. Not at this time."

Derek Shelton has been everything but a succesful manager in his 3 1/2 seasons as the Pirates' skipper, owning an abysmal overall record of 183-291 (W-L .386%).

Sure, not all of that is the managers' fault. That being said, Shelton can't throw away games with poor managerial decisions. These types of decisions disseminate through the clubhouse, a chain of cause and effect.

If the Pirates want to be a competitive team as soon as next season, they can't have a manager that costs them games.