The Pirates have fired Ray Searage, their pitching coaching since 2010, as well as Tom Prince, their bench coach the past three seasons.
The team made the announcement Thursday, 4 p.m., adding that, "All other major-league coaches are candidates to remain on the big-league staff pending the conclusion of the managerial and coaching staff hiring process." The latter, of course, refers to the team having fired Clint Hurdle this past Sunday and the search for his replacement.
Searage, 64, was promoted from interim status to become the Pirates' pitching coach Aug. 8, 2010. He was beloved by the pitchers on that team, which lost 105 games, and was one of the few to survive a purge of John Russell and his staff that fall. Before that, Searage spent seven years as a pitching coach in the Pirates' system, giving him 17 years within the organization.
He'd known for weeks he wouldn't last this purge, either, and had spent much of this past Sunday bidding farewell to people throughout PNC Park. When Trevor Williams was done pitching that afternoon, he and Searage had an extended embrace in the dugout.
The results on the field were nothing shy of disastrous, as the Pirates' pitching was some of the worst in franchise history, with a team ERA of 5.18 that ranked 26th of 30 teams in Major League Baseball, as well as 31 occasions of giving up 10 or more runs in a game. The ERA was the franchise's worst since 1953, their third-worst in baseball's modern era of 1900-onward. Much of that was due, naturally, to the deficient talent Neal Huntington brought aboard, notably the middle relief recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis. But no aspect of the pitching was acceptable.
Prince, 55, had 26 years within the organization, beginning with 1987-93 as a catcher in Pittsburgh. He was promoted from minor-league field coordinator in late 2016 to become Hurdle's bench coach the next three seasons.
It hadn't been at all clear that Prince would be singled out for a firing, as it was with Searage. Prince was the interim manager in the season finale and, afterward in the postgame press conference, was visibly emotional when speaking about Hurdle's firing.
Much more to come in Friday Insider tonight at midnight.