The Pirates have signed pitching coach Ray Searage to a two-year contract extension, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel reports.
As Biertempfel pointed out, Searage’s contract was set to expire after this season.
The Pirates recently announced extensions for general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle, and Searage should figure to go along with that. His reputation as a pitcher whisperer remains strong, though perhaps not what it once was.
This phenomenon seems to occur with coaches from time to time, being touted as magical, then falling back to earth a little. Searage’s so-called magic started to wear at the same time the Pirates lost pitching coordinator Jim Benedict to the Marlins. That was also around the time the Pirates tasked him with fixing Jon Niese and Ryan Vogelsong, in which failure probably shouldn’t be held against the coach.
Searage oversaw Ivan Nova’s emergence in Pittsburgh last season, which has also taken a downturn this season, particularly in the second half.
Searage clearly can’t fix everybody, as the Pirates have seemed to ask him to do, but he is an excellent pitching coach and an asset for a team as budget-conscious as the Pirates, which will surely be looking to revive fallen pitchers. Keeping him around would figure to be a no-brainer.