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Joel Hanrahan moves on from Pirates

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Minor League pitching coach will explore other opportunities after five years in the system

Altoona Curve v Portland Sea Dogs Photo by Zachary Roy/Getty Images

Joel Hanrahan, the former Pittsburgh Pirates reliever who had been working his way through the minor league ranks as a pitching coach, announced Wednesday he is leaving the organization. Hanrahan posted on his Twitter account:

“After five years coaching with the Pirates I have decided to move on and look for other opportunities. Thank you to the Pirates for giving (me) my first shot at coaching. I wish all the players, coaches and organization the best. I’m looking forward to a new challenge and opportunity.”

In October, Hanrahan had received the Danny Murtaugh coach of the year award, given to the Minor League coach who had the biggest impact on the development of talent throughout the 2021 season. At the time, Hanrahan told Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic that his goal was to get to the Major Leagues as a coach.

“It’s been a fun five years of getting guys to the big leagues, and now there are a lot of guys in Pittsburgh who would be fun to work with. You’ve just kind of gotta wait your turn and see what happens.”

Biertempfel at the time wrote that Hanrahan hadn’t had his contract renewed for 2022, but that Hanrahan didn’t seem too concerned about it.

John Baker, the club’s director of coaching and player development, said the organization was proud of Hanrahan and the work he’d done. Baker told Biertempfel:

“He leveraged his relationship-building ability and his experience and also exemplified the mindset of taking new information, accepting it and putting it into practice.”

Hanrahan joined the organization as a coach in February 2017 when former Pirates general manager Neal Huntington named him assistant pitching coach for the Bristol Pirates, one of the Bucs’ Rookie-level teams at the time, and the next season he advanced to what was then the club’s Low-A team, the West Virginia Power in the South Atlantic League.

Hanrahan continued his climb through the system by becoming pitching coach of the Altoona Curve in 2019, and during the COVID-19 season of 2020, he served as a pitching coach at the Pirates’ alternate site in Altoona.

Last year Hanrahan was the pitching coach at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Hanrahan, 40, spent seven years in the big leagues as a pitcher and enjoyed his greatest success during parts of four seasons with the Pirates from 2009 to 2012.

He went a combined 10-8 with a 2.59 ERA in 238 games, all in relief. He allowed just 177 hits in 229 1/3 innings, walked 98 and struck out 265 for a WHIP of 1.199.

Originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a second-round draft pick in June 2000, Hanrahan was dealt to the Boston Red Sox by the Pirates in December 2012 with Brock Holt in exchange for Mark Melancon, Ivan De Jesus, Stolmy Pimentel and Jerry Sands. But less than halfway through the 2013 season, Hanrahan underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery and although he later signed with the Detroit Tigers, Hanrahan never appeared in a game for them and later underwent a second Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his career as an active player.