The Pittsburgh Pirates have settled on a new manager after a process that began when former skipper Clint Hurdle was fired in September.
Derek Shelton, who was previously the bench coach of the Minnesota Twins, was announced as the team’s new manager on Wednesday.
He is best known for his ample experience as a hitting coach in the league, spending five seasons in that capacity with the Cleveland Indians and seven seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays.
New general manager Ben Cherington got to know Shelton in 2017, the year in which their paths overlapped with the Toronto Blue Jays. Shelton worked as a quality control coach there while Cherington was the vice president of baseball operations, impressing with his baseball knowledge.
Shelton will be tasked with helping lead Pittsburgh back to relevance. The Pirates have finished with a losing record in three of the past four seasons. They hit rock-bottom in 2019, turning in a miserable season that ended with a second-half collapse and a 69-93 record.
Shelton’s hiring means that all eight of the league’s previously-unfilled managerial positions are now occupied.
Pirates fans must now cross their fingers and hope that Shelton will help lead their team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.