Pirates Prospects Daily: Extending Derek Shelton Was The Right Call

Derek Shelton weathered the storm that was the tear down during the first couple of years during the Pirates rebuild.

Now he’s getting a chance to try and take the team to the next level.

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they were extending their manager, and although the exact details haven’t been released, it was the right call to give Shelton a chance to see how far he can take this team.

It hasn’t been an easy road for Shelton, as not only was he taking control of a rebuilding team — for his first managing job no less — but faced all sorts of obstacles that made things far from normal.

This year, his fourth on the job, was really the first ‘normal’ year he had, as the pandemic completely threw things off the rails in 2020, as well as how they started things the following year.

Then last year there was the lockout, so the start of camp, and eventually the season, was delayed.

There have been a lot of growing pains involved, but he’s got his team playing well, and he’s showing what he can do as a manager with a roster that is more built towards actually being far more competitive than in previous years.

Even if it’s still early, and a lot of things can still change, Shelton is more than deserving of an added layer of security for the job he’s done, and the part he’s played in the quick turnaround.

Prospect Notes

— The Bradenton Marauders and Greensboro Grasshoppers both lost on Saturday, but one interesting note to come out of their games, they combined to draw 22 walks on the day, both reaching double digits.

Walks happen, especially in the lower levels, the Marauders even won a game in extra innings recently on a bases-loaded walk, but to not only draw double digit free passes but also for two teams to do it in the same system, nice showing of plate awareness.

— Javier Rivas picked up a couple of big hits on Saturday, including his first home run of the season. It’s been a rough start to the season for the towering shortstop, which has included a lot of swing and miss.

He has the power, but he’s been beating the ball into the ground a lot, so seeing him square this one up, is a good sign.

Check out the rest of tonight’s action in the Prospect Watch:

Prospect Watch: Javier Rivas Goes Deep, Indy and Greensboro Get Shelled

Daily Video Rundown

Luis Peralta made his season debut on Saturday and was impressive in his two innings of work, striking out five batters. Even better, he only walked one. Striking batters out was never an issue for the lefty, throwing strikes was, and it got so bad last year he spent some time on the development list.

A look at the Rivas home run, his first of the season.

Miguel Andujar destroyed this baseball, giving the Indianapolis Indians a 2-0 lead.


By Tim Williams 

I had some thoughts on the Shelton extension in the live thread. I’ll have a more detailed look tomorrow.

Pirates Recap: Rich Hill Helps Push the Pirates Winning Streak to Six

Prospect Watch: Javier Rivas Goes Deep, Indy and Greensboro Get Shelled

**Pirates Manager Derek Shelton Receives Contract Extension

**Pirates Draft Prospects: Should Paul Skenes Be Selected First Overall?

**Minor Moves: Bradenton Makes a Pair of Roster Moves


Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Shelton deserves this and stability is good. The great franchises in all pro sports recognize this. Some always think change for the sake of change is the way but that’s just a cop out blame mentality. Do yourself a favor and get behind this team, management and all because our time is near and you may have to dig deep to find something to complain about.

b mcferren

if you say so…

they didn´t give John Russel and extension and look how well that worked out

some guys are just here to do a job and then relay to the team to the next stage of the process


Difference being Sleepy John lost the team. Nobody was going to stick up for him.


A lot of young guys in the lineup today, hope a few step up!


The jury is out on Shelton still. I am not blaming Shelton for the line-up decisions last year because I think many of those were organizational decsions in an effort to get a good draft pick (conspiracy theory I know). The great culture we have now, I credit to Cutch, Santana and winning.
I would like to see our guys get out of the box quicker. It is like they wait until the defender misplays it to get in another gear. That is on the manager, but overall the jury is still out.


Not the greatest managers who ever lived would have won more than 70 games the last two seasons with those dreadful rosters.

They seem to enjoy playing for him and do play hard every day.

In my humble opinion I think this is the right move at this time.


As someone who has criticized Shelton’s management decisions and style numerous times over the past few years, I must say that in my opinion extending him now is the only move that makes any sense. What are the alternatives?

Firing him now would be idiotic and lead to chants for BC to get the axe too. Letting him ride out the year with no new deal and the probability of his being fired during the off season would be nearly as bad especially with the positive atmosphere that now exists and the apparent support he has in the clubhouse. Either way would sabotage most of the progress this team has made. Winning versus losing is a delicate balance and upsetting it now that things just might be turning around makes no sense.

So again I ask those who are complaining about his extension, instead of simply complaining about it, what are your alternatives?


I’m not a fan, but I’m also not complaining, but to answer your question, alternative; wait, what’s the rush? Finish out the year, I seriously doubt that he is in high demand!


Yes, I doubt many teams were lined up to talk to Derek Shelton.


Derek Shelton is a below average manager. This is a terrible move. End of story.


Shit! Maggi is getting his participation trophy, getting called up to take Reynolds place. Condolences to Reynolds and family.


I like it! Dude deserves it for perservering all these years as an organizational guy. Won’t hurt to have him as last man on the bench for a day or two.


I think he’ll play, either start or come in in the later innings and then promptly released with Andujar taking his place as early as Monday.


I posted about this late in spring training. I was hoping (obviously not this scenario for the Reynolds family) there would be a reason to give Maggi a short major league appearance where he actually gets to play but is not considered some long term piece robbing playing time from younger players. He then can be passed back through waivers and remain in the system if he so chooses. While very sad for the Reynolds family I am happy for Maggi and hope he gets a start or at least a few pinch hitting chances. Make it happen Derek – they clearly won’t fire you for it.


I hate this move. That is all.


I’m not a Sheldon fan or hater, but I appreciate an opinion that is different than the majority of opinions in the comment section the past few years.


I think this was inevitable. If I recall the reports correctly they said this has been in the works for a while so IMO this extension is not related to the hot start at all, just the plan they had in place. I am hoping it is not a long extension for I guess obvious reasons. Shorter duration does make it more financially (important in these parts) possible to fire him if they would come to that conclusion. But the extension shows some level of commitment to him for trying to manage rosters that were not destined for many wins. I am with those who struggle with his past decisions but also think ultimately it didn’t matter much in W/L given in many cases he didn’t really have many good choices to make. In the incredibly small sample size of 2023, I have been happy with his using somebody else to close games when running Bednar out there would have been stretching his usage. It is only April and while each game counts, I still think Bednar will be more important in hopefully the late falls of 2024 or 2025.


Not trying to be a wet blanket but we’ve seen close to 400 games of Derek Shelton over 3 years – not including his terrible springs – where he has looked like one of the worst lineup decionmakers I’ve ever seen in my life — and now 22 games this year where he has been pushing all the right buttons.

Not furious over the move and who knows maybe he’s Danny Murtaugh been hiding in plain sight but count me in the WAY too small a sample size group.


Cherington was correct in calling it a ‘no brainer’. They used ‘no brains’ in making this move.


A “Classic” – thanks for my laugh on this subject.


I concede he was given nothing to work with as talent goes but his record is historically bad.

His line-up decisions have boggled the mind.

His pitcher usage is head scratching and it nearly ruined Bednar last year.

There was never any accountability for all the terrible fundamental failures and lack of focus (TOOTBLAN’s, missed bases, seeds, phones, Baez, and bad slides, pitchers who walk the planet.)

So Cutch comes back home, the team gets off to a great start (largely beating the worst teams in MLB) and now we are joyful and extend this guy…..

Foolish move…..


I am not the biggest Shelton fan for many of the reasons you outlined. Castro did get sent down for not running out the pop up last spring, IIRC, I didn’t like how he defended and let the 70 million dollar man off with a slap on the wrist over the seeds incident. That seemed to me that there are different standards for clubhouse behavior and professionalism, which to me, is a bad sign in a leader. Just my opinion.


I don’t think Shelton was in control of any lineup decisions, it was all team tryout mode.


Not convinced that extending Derek Shelton was the proper course of action – 384 games of sub-.400 winning percentage over 3 years that is offset by 22 games in 2023?

I think the spending of around $32 mil on 2023 FA’s had a lot to do with his 2023 success – but, that’s on the GM. Can this be a sign the Pirates are committing to that spending path for the future? Maybe not all in FA’s, but in extensions to quality ballplayers we have developed and who are paying dividends, and then fill in from there with FA’s, if necessary.


I told my wife when Cruz went down, that in an odd way, I feel it was a positive in the long run. Without that injury Marcano, Castro, Bae, heck even Mathais would not get Major League playing time, to showcase for a trade for starting pitching next year or so.


Similar to JT Brubaker going down. If not for that, I doubt Oviedo would be pitching in a 5 man rotation in the major leagues.


I think coming out of ST, Castro,11HR for the Pirates in 2022 and able to play 2B, 3B, and SS was a lock. Bae really impressed at AAA in 2022 and in ST 2023. He brings the ability to play 2B, CF, SS, and steal bases. TCastro is also a switchhitter

IMO, Castro and Bae will be there until somebody like Liover Peguero matures into a good hitter. At AAA, NG is carrying a 38% K rate, 31 K’s in maybe 82 PA’s, and not lighting it up in the field either. Marcano is definitely an excellent Utility Player, and will be available as an add to get a better return on trade deadline guys.


Thank you for that response, you got me promoted from prospect to Double A 🙂


Congrats to Shelton. He’s been made to endure a tear-down. He deserves more time. Maybe Andujar up and CSN down? Andujar can give Hayes a break and play OF.


The only break Andujar could give Hayes is probably bringing some seeds to him! But seriously Andujar should never see an inning as a 3b man in the bigs. Your adapted son is our best backup there, other than him, Marcano, but perhaps Mathias makes the most sense.


I am with you ONLY on the Andujar for CSN move.

Pirates Prospects Daily



Latest articles

Latest comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x