Pirates Announce Jay Bell As New Hitting Coach

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced several coaching changes today for the 2013 season, and the highlight was former shortstop Jay Bell being announced as the hitting coach.

Bell spent 18 seasons in the majors, with eight of those years coming with the Pirates between 1989-1996. After retiring from the game he spent time as the bench coach in Arizona from 2005-2006, and he recently was the hitting coach for Arizona’s Double-A affiliate. That team was managed by Turner Ward. Bell is currently coaching the New Zealand national team, attempting to qualify for the World Baseball Classic in March.

The Pirates also announced that Rick Sofield has been named First Base Coach and Dave Jauss has been named Major League Coach. Sofield spent the 2012 season as the manager for the West Virginia Power. He will also oversee the club’s baserunning and outfield efforts while replacing Luis Silverio, who has been named Senior Advisor, Latin American Operations. In his new role, Silverio will be instrumental in the development of the club’s Latin American players in the minor league system as well as those at the Major League level.

Jauss spent the 2012 season, his 25th in professional baseball, as a Special Assistant to General Manager Neal Huntington. He served the Mets as their Major League Bench Coach in 2010 after working in the same capacity with the Orioles in 2008-09 and Dodgers in 2006-07. Jauss also spent 10 years in the Boston organization and seven with
Montreal after working six seasons as a college head coach.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • ej6687

    Interesting. Bell was hitting coach for only 1 season with Mobile. As far as I can tell, he was just a “guest instructor” before that since he resigned as bench coach.

    So he doesn’t have much experience at all…..

    • wildarschase

      But in this case, at least he has a World Series championship and a decade+ hitting in the majors in his background. As hitting coaches go, that’s enough for me. I worry more about same-job-before experience in the player development/acquisition side.
      Fortunately, Stark and Broadway have that going for th…um…

    • Lee Young

      Yeh, but at least we’ll know how to bunt!



      • WTM

        A.J. Burnett approves this message.

      • kimbercarry

        That was the first think that came to my mind as well Lee. Bell was a great bunter when he was with us.

    • Fred Langford

      Good to get a no BS guy on a staff of BS’ers.

  • jalcorn

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Bell because he took that less than market extension to stay when all the others were bailing out in free agency.

    • Lee Young

      foogot about that….just another plus for him.

  • leadoff

    We will see how well Bell can work with Hurdle. Hurdle likes to tinker with hitters, after all he was a batting coach with Texas, where did that get us?
    I wanted to see coaching changes, I think the first base coaching adjustment was a good move, someone has to teach these guys how to run.
    I thought that the Pirates game approach to hitting was wrong and hope that Bell brings a new game approach.

    • Lee Young

      not really sure a new hitting coach will help some of those

      but I do like having Jay back. One of my favorites.



  • Lee Young

    With all the coaching changes, someone posted this on Pg Plus and I just had to re-post it here, plus my reply. Sorry if I upset anyone.

    “Did anyone run these hires by Dejan Kovacevic before the final decisions were made? Hope so. ”

    My reply:
    “They won’t count for DK until, you know, Bob N says it.

    Can’t believe that a good baseball man like Dave Jauss would want to work for an organization that is a total laughingstock! ”



  • beatembuccos21

    Is it possible that Bell is being brought in as SS competition for Barmes?

    This news makes me think that we aren’t going to see any changes in the front office staff – at least not to any of the key decision makers.

    • Lee Young

      At worst, I thought Stark might go, but when nobody from the FO responded to the overblown Hoka Hey nonsense (at least until yesterday), I figured even HE was safe…lol.


      • jalcorn

        The Trib (Starkey) has a story today on Nutting’s review process. In it Bob says that he will announce his findings very soon. Bob has apparently went outside the organization for consultation with this.

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