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Pirates will not renew contract of Triple-A manager Brian Esposito

Esposito did not manage the team’s season finale on Sunday.

Syndication: Indianapolis RobertScheer, Robert Scheer/IndyStar

The organizational rebuild continues for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it was announced Monday night that Brian Esposito, manager of the Indianapolis Indians, will not return to his position in 2022, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The former Minor League catcher spent eight seasons in the organization, including two stints with the Indians: one as a player-coach in 2013 and then was appointed manager of the team in 2018. He also oversaw operations at the Pirates’ alternate training site during the truncated 2020 season and was the manager of the West Virginia Black Bears and West Virginia Power for a period of time, while they were still an affiliate for the Pirates.

Esposito tallied one winning season and two losing seasons with the Indians. In 2018, they finished with a 73-67 record, falling just 0.5 games shy of the division lead. However, in 2019, they finished 66-74, and in 2021, they finished 61-67 with a -32 run differential.

Poor offense contributed to this year’s skid, as the Indians were one of the worst hitting teams in the Triple-A East division, posting a slash line of .235/.325/.391 with a .716 OPS.

In addition to the poor slash line, the Indians ranked low in other offensive facets. They finished the season with the third worst ground-out-to-air-out ratio with a 1.16 mark, and they grounded into 91 double plays.

Mackey adds that the search for Esposito’s position will “begin immediately,” and possible candidates are Kieran Mattison, who managed High-A Greensboro this year, and Miguel Perez, who managed Double-A Altoona.

Current pitching coach Joel Hanrahan, who remains the team’s pitching coach, is another possible candidate.