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Yesterday, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates will bring back the entirety of their coaching staff in 2018 and beyond.
With the club already having extended manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington, many felt that the coaching staff might see the most turnover. That will not be the case. By extending this group for two years, Huntington and Hurdle have sent a clear message that continuity is being held in higher esteem than any perceived need to “shake things up.”
Despite presiding over a club that carried a solid level of talent — even considering the absences of Starling Marte and Jung Ho Kang — that some clubs would envy, Branson was not able to wring the most out of his charges in 2017. A quick look at some selected team rates and rankings supports this:
[table id=253 /]
Perhaps it was the Marte and Kang absences that helped Branson keep his job. Afterall, if we look at the entirety of his time as the team’s hitting coach — 2013 through 2017 — we see that the Pittsburgh Pirates hitters posted the third highest wRC+ (97) in the National League.
Whether earned or not, the Pirates’ coaching staff will have another crack at getting this right.
Does this amount to staying the course, or settling into complacency after two disappointing seasons?
We’ll have to wait and see. Much like the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to do by extending this group.
Baseball Talk on the Web
- What if more teams followed the Astros’ extreme roadmap?
- The Angels and Justin Upton will keep it going for another five years.
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