The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday evening that they have fired third base coach Rick Sofield and reassigned first base coach Nick Leyva to a role as the Senior Advisor of Baseball Operations.

Sofield was also in charge of the base running and outfield defense this season. He was with the Pirates in 2002 as a Minor League Field Coordinator, then returned in 2012 to coach the West Virginia Power. Sofield spent the 2013-14 seasons as the first base coach for the Pirates, before switching over to third base for the last two seasons.

Leyva spent four years the third base coach for the Pirates before switching spots with Sofield for the last two years, moving over to first base. He was also in charge of the infield defense.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington issued this statement on the moves and coaches involved:

“We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff,” Huntington said. “We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players throughout our system.”

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    • I understand your comment from the emotional perspective, but if he is replaced with a more talented contributor it is all for the good, right? I mean if we could replace Jeff Locke with Jake Arrieta how long would we weep for Jeff? Coaches, managers, gm’s are all under the same scrutiny as the players, and everyone needs to presume that if they don’t produce they will be replaced with someone better. In Rick Scofield’s case it won’t be hard to find someone better.

  1. I know he doesn’t have experience coaching except helping in spring training but I would like Omar Moreno as the Pirates outfield and base running coach.

  2. Way too early for this kind of speculation but I hope Andy Van Slyke takes sofields position as outfield/baserunning coach

  3. Wait a minute… Didn’t we hear from the GM the last
    week of the season that all coaches had been renewed for the next season?

    Am I imagining things or is my memory correct?

    • All the coaches were under contract for 2017, but it appears the Bucs felt that changes were necessary to their base line coaches.

  4. Good baseball decision. He was abelow average 3rd base coach and the Pirates always have base running issues. A change can’t hurt

  5. You don’t have to like it but this was the right thing he made awful decisions sending guys
    I understand gamble but he lost more guys at home than can be accepted

  6. Last year at this time Sofield was interviewing for the Padres’ manager job. How quickly fortunes change.

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