FanPost

Pirates To Name Ray Searage, Jeff Banister To Coaching Staff

The Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are set to name the majority of their coaching staff. They apparently have settled on pitching coach Ray Searage, hitting coach Gregg Ritchie, third base coach Jeff Banister, and bench coach Nick Leyva.

I think that choice of Searage was to be expected as he did good work with a few of the Pirates' younger pitchers at the end of the year (particularly Charlie Morton). I would've like to see a more established major league instructor like Rick Peterson, Dave Duncan, or someone along those lines, but I'm excited to see if Searage can't help the Pirates' young pitchers gain some confidence by getting off to a good start.

Gregg Ritchie has been in the Pirates minor league system for years, so he's already familiar with the Bucs' young hitters, and probably deserves so credit for their success so far. He can keep working with guys like Neil Walker and Jose Tabata.

UPDATE by Charlie: The return of Jeff Banister isn't unexpected, but it's also nice to see. Levya was the Blue Jays' bench coach last year, and the P-G notes that he's probably Clint Hurdle's choice. Overall, some fans may be wondering why the Pirates didn't hire more outside talent, but I think that ultimately the picks of Searage, Ritchie and Banister are fine and really not much of a surprise. I don't know much about Ritchie, but I like the idea of adding a hitting coach from the Pirates' tightly-controlled minor league system - he'll be familiar with the Bucs' system and, as Jerry notes, will already know how to work with the Pirates' core of young hitters.

These picks also suggest that Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington are very much running the show here, not Clint Hurdle. Hurdle only got one coach who was 'his guy,' and the rest are very clearly Coonelly and Huntington's people. John Russell was often criticized for being too subservient to Coonelly and Huntington, but it doesn't look like the new manager will wield too much power, either. We'll see if that turns out to be right.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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