Report: Joey Cora Will Be Pirates New Third Base Coach

According to a report from Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror, Joey Cora will be named third base coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates recently fired Rick Sofield, who had been the third base coach for the last two seasons. Cora managed the Altoona Curve to a first place finish in the Eastern League this year, his first seasons as team manager.

Cora played 11 seasons in the majors. He has four years of minor league managing experience, as well as three years as a third base coach for the Chicago White Sox, and six seasons total as a bench coach for the White Sox (five years) and Miami Marlins. Cora also has managerial experience in winter ball in Venezuela.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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now I’d like to see them get Jack Wilson to replace Leyva

Kerry Writtenhouse

Solid under the radar baseball move.


sorry y’all but i called it. fact check


So, umm, what do you want for your prize?

I’ve never “gotten” these “I called it” comments. I guess some folks get a kick out of them.


well my second was tom prince so that should ease it for ya


I’m rooting for Omar.




Foo, I can barely hear you when you’re all the way at the top of Mount Pious.


lol….good one.

Danny…after climbing all that way, I am out of breath.



Good to see the front office give Joey a big league gig instead of having another team hire him on their MLB staff either this offseason or next. I was just thinking the other day that the season after Banister left for Texas the team never replaced his position as bench coach and thought that might have been a good role for Cora, unless they’ve since hired someone as bench coach and I missed it.


What is the role of the 3rd base coach beyond making base-running decisions? How much influence can they have on the players?

Bruce Humbert

the first and third base coaches have other duties. Sofield was responsible for base running and outfield defense. Neither of which were very good while he was with the team – Cora may – depending on his skill set do these or other things. He was a pretty good infielder for many years so I could see him getting some role in infield defense. Cora has been both a bench coach and a third base coach in the majors before and by all accounts has done a good job with Altoona. He has also interviewed a couple of times for managerial jobs.

I would consider this an upgrade over Sofield – but we shall see how he does in trying to make better decisions on when to go and when to stay


I would think that is determined by his manager. It is difficult for me to believe that will be nothing more than a green light/red light.


True. wasn’t lasorda the last one whom did that?


Was going to ask the same thing. I stopped playing baseball well before I reached a level that had a designated 3rd base coach. I’d love to hear more about what responsibilities he has, otherwise I have no idea if this is a good hire or not.

michael schalke

I’m guessing he will also work with the infielders.


since he is a former infielder, that is my guess also. Leyva had the infielders before. Now we need an outfield and baserunning coach (unless Cora assumes the baserunning chores).


maybe a baserunning coach whom could actually steal bases…….i mean don’t tell me we can’t find Tony Womack or Eric Yelding or Tike Redman (thats a joke) – that needs a job that could actually teach the kids something

michael schalke

Excellent choice! He should help in working with the Latin players.

Scott B

The Pirates may have just hired their next manager.
At minimum, he brings some more diversity (perhaps a better bridge to the Latin players?) and a solid resume.


He spoke out in May that the system was unfair to Hispanics. I think that was shortly after Atlanta fired Fredi Gonzalez, he was the only Hispanic Manager in MLB. Cora had a great year at Altoona and has the coaching experience to step up immediately. Attended Vanderbilt. A career .277 hitter in the majors who had more Walks than K’s over an 11 year career.

I hope that he is joined shortly on the Pirates Coaching Staff by Kevin Riggs, who was his Hitting Coach at Altoona.


Leyva apparently spoke fluent Spanish.

Scott B

No disrespect intended toward Nick, but although he could speak the language, one sometimes wondered if the players were actually listening. Cora may bring a “relatability factor” that Leyva did not.

ralph j

And he’ll still be there as well.


I’m sure the yinzers will find some way to complain about this


I’m sure some yinzer will complain about the yinzers who complain.




I’m sure some yinzer will make an obvious observational comment about yinzers in general

John Allen Habel III

I like all the experience he brings

IC Bob

Good for Joey. Don’t know much about him but he always seems like a stand up interview.


I’m hearing he sat down for this interview.

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