Four Coaching Positions Set

Searage will return as the pitching coach in 2011.

According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Pittsburgh Pirates are set to name four coaches to Clint Hurdle’s coaching staff.  Those coaches are Ray Searage (pitching coach), Gregg Ritchie (hitting coach), Jeff Banister (third base coach), and Nick Leyva (bench coach).

Searage and Banister are returning to the coaching staff from last season.  Searage took over as the pitching coach when the team fired Joe Kerrigan in early August.  Banister took over as the bench coach at the same time, and was one of two finalists for the vacant manager position this off-season.  With Banister at third base, it means that Tony Beasley won’t return.

Ritchie has been the minor league hitting coordinator for the Pirates since the 2006 season.  I’m surprised that Don Long isn’t returning, as the 2010 rookies (Neil Walker, Jose Tabata, and Pedro Alvarez) made an easy transition to the majors, and the same can be said for Andrew McCutchen.  Ritchie makes sense, since he also would have played a role in the development of those players.  New manager Clint Hurdle should also help with the team’s hitting, since he was formerly the hitting coach of the Texas Rangers before taking the Pirates’ job.  Ritchie runs a camp in the Richmond, VA area called Richmond Baseball Instructors (RBI).

Leyva managed the Philadelphia Phillies from 1989-1991, and was the bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays this past year.  Earlier this week, Rob Biertempfel reported that Leyva was a front runner for either the bench coach or the third base coach job.

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