Pirates add Kelly as bench coach, keep three

New manager Derek Shelton has made his first staffing decisions, and he is bringing a Pittsburgh native back to the Pirates.

On Saturday, general manager Ben Cherington announced Astros first base coach Don Kelly will be joining Shelton's staff as his bench coach.

"I am extremely humbled and excited to return to the Pirates as the Bench Coach," said Kelly. "I share the vision and passion that Ben and Derek have for the future of the organization. My family and I could not be more proud to return home to be part of this next chapter of Pirates baseball."

Kelly, 39, just completed his first season as a major league coach. After retiring from playing in 2016, he joined the Tigers as a scout and an assistant on the player development staff before the 2017 season. In September 2017, he was promoted to a major league scout.

Kelly was born in Butler and graduated from Mt. Lebanon. He played college ball with Point Park University and was selected by the Tigers in the eighth round of the 2001 draft.

Kelly played in the majors for nine seasons with the Tigers, Pirates and Marlins. He was mostly used as a utility player and is one of only a handful of individuals to ever play all nine positions and designated hitter.

"I am really excited to have Don Kelly join the Pirates staff as Bench Coach," Shelton said. "After his solid major league career as a versatile player, he continued to learn and gain knowledge working in the front office with the Tigers and again last year as the First Base Coach with the Astros. I am thrilled that he gets to return home to Pittsburgh and that we have the opportunity to have him join our big league staff."

Kelly played 25 games with the Pirates in 2007.

Bench coach was one of at least three positions the Pirates needed to fill on the major league coaching staff. Former bench coach Tom Prince and pitching coach Ray Searage were both fired in early October, and assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz left to take a job with the Brewers in November.

The Pirates also announced Saturday that Joey Cora will return as third base coach and Rick Eckstein will be retained as the hitting coach. Justin Meccage, who was the assistant pitching coach in 2018-2019, will also return in 2020 in a role that is to be determined.

To continue reading, log into your account: