Pirates

Esposito promoted to manager at Triple-A Indianapolis

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A bag at spring training last February. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

After beginning a full rebuild without Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates announced changes to their minor league coaching staffs Tuesday.

The most prominent change is the promotion of Brian Esposito to manager at Triple-A Indianapolis, replacing Andy Barkett, who joined the Red Sox' coaching staff earlier this offseason.

Esposito managed the Class A West Virginia Black Bears in 2017 while also serving as the Pirates' minor league catching coordinator. Additionally, pitching coach Stan Kyles will return to the Indians' staff and Ryan Long was promoted to the club's hitting coach.

Michael Ryan will return as the manager at Double-A Altoona and Bryan Hickerson will also return as the team's pitching coach. Keoni De Renne, who was the hitting coach at High-A Bradenton last season, will serve in the same role on the Curve's coaching staff.

Additionally, Gera Alvarez will again manage at High-A Bradenton and Wyatt Toregas will return to manage the Low-A West Virginia Power.

Kieran Mattison, who managed the Dominican academy team this past season, will replace Esposito as the manager of the Black Bears. Mattison, 37, previously served as the Gulf Coast League hitting coach.

Also, former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan will serve as the pitching coach for the West Virginia Power. He served as an assistant pitching coach for the Black Bears this past season.

Esposito owns a 233-195 (.544) record in four seasons as a manager in the minors. After joining the Pirates' system as a player/coach in 2013 and serving as an additional coach in Indianapolis, he managed Short-Season A Jamestown to a 35-40 record in 2014.

He then jumped to Single-A West Virginia for the next two seasons, the first highlighted by a club-record 87 wins and .626 winning percentage, the third-best winning percentage among all full-season teams in Minor League Baseball.

Originally selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2000 MLB June Amateur Draft, Esposito had a 13-year professional playing career that included stints with the Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, Cardinals, Rockies, Astros and Cubs organizations. He produced a slash line of .216/.254/.303, belted 38 home runs and 237 RBI.

Long spent each of the past two seasons as Single-A West Virginia’s hitting coach. He has also served as hitting coach for High-A Bradenton (2011, 2015) and Double-A Altoona (2012-14). Prior to joining the Pirates system in 2009, he was Burlington’s hitting coach (Single-A, Kansas City Royals) from 2007-08 and a minor league coach for the White Sox from 2001-06.

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