Pirates finalize minor-league coaching staffs


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Jon Nnunnally. -- ALTOONA CURVE

The Pirates finalized the coaching staffs for their four full season minor-league affiliates Thursday, and they are increasing the number of coaches they are employing for each team.

The announcement was made by Larry Broadway, the senior director of minor league operations.

Every minor-league staff will have six positions: a manager, a pitching and hitting coach, another assistant coach, an athletic trainer and a strength and conditioning coach. Last year, each of the four full-season affiliates only had five coaches.

General manager Ben Cherington has talked about improving the Pirates player development system throughout his first offseason with the team.

The Indianapolis Indians will be lead by Brian Esposito, who has managed the Indians since 2018. Most of his assistants were with the Curve last season, with pitching coach Joel Hanrahan, hitting coach Jon Nunnally and athletic trainer Justin Ahrens getting promotions from Double-A to Triple-A.

Hanrahan, a former All-Star closer with the Pirates, has steadily been rising through the ranks as a coach in their system. After being hired to coach the rookie-level Bristol in 2017, he was promoted to coach A-ball in 2018 and then Double-A in 2019. Nunnally just completed his first season as a Pirates coach and has 12 years of coaching experience.

Our Jarrod Prugar profiled Nunnally and Hanrahan while they were with Altoona last year.

The other assistant coach will be newcomer Argenis Diaz, a middle infielder who briefly played for the Pirates in 2010, and Alan Burr, who will retain his position as strength coach.

In Altoona, Dave Turgeon will be moved from the Pirates coordinator of instruction to Double-A manager. He has been with the Pirates since 2010 and has coached at every level in the minors.

“Everything that I've done to this point has prepared me to go up there and meet whatever challenges that I have there,” said Turgeon. “Managing has always been one of the most enjoyable things because I love going through life with a group of guys for six months, through the ups and downs and come together as a team. That is one of my favorite things about player development.”

He will be joined by newcomers David Newhan as hitting coach, Tom Filer as pitching coach and Gera Alvarez as the assistant coach. Newhan had 14 year career as a major-league player and managed the Angels' Double-A affiliate in 2019. Filer was the pitching coach in Altoona in 2010 and has served as the Pirates' assistant pitching coordinator the past five years.

Athletic trainer Jorge Islas was with Greensboro in 2019. The only returning member of the 2019 Curve coaching staff is strength coach Joe Schlesinger.

Miguel Perez has been promoted from Greensboro manager to High-A Bradenton's manager, and he is bringing Chris Petersen with him as hitting coach. Drew Benes is being retained as pitching coach, as is Logan Byman as strength coach. Tyler Brooks is being promoted from trainer of short-A West Virginia to Bradenton, and Kory DeHann has been hired as an assistant coach.

Kieran Marrison will take over as manager in Greensboro after managing Bristol in 2019. Pitching coach Stan Kyles is the only member of the 2019 staff to return. Hitting coach Jonny Tucker and assistant Salvador Paniagua are new to the organization. Matt McNamee is coming from Bradenton to be the athletic trainer, and Adam Marso is coming from the Dominican Pirates team to be the strength coach.

All four teams will start their regular season on Apr. 9.

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