Turgeon to manage Curve in 2020
The Curve’s new manager, Dave Turgeon, has a wealth of coaching and teaching experience with young prospects and will be making the jump to Double-A for the first time in his career.
Turgeon, 54, has spent six seasons managing in the minors and many more in college baseball. He has never managed above the short-season level.
Turgeon has a different background compared with any other previous Curve manager, focusing primarily on college and the lower levels of the minors.
Dale Sveum took over the Curve with no managerial experience at all in 2001, but other than him, no other manager in franchise history has made the jump to Double-A without managing above short-season ball.
“Everything that I’ve done to this point has prepared me to go up there and meet whatever challenges that I have there,” Turgeon said in a team statement.
“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.”
Turgeon’s background suggests he excels at player development and that the Pirates trust him in that role. He managed the-short season State College Spikes in 2011 and ’12, then the short-season Jamestown Jammers in 2013.
He took a few years off from managing after that and guided the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates in 2018. He was the Pirates’ coordinator of instruction the past five seasons and also managed in the Arizona Fall League over the winter.
“I view myself as a teacher, and teaching is teaching, no matter the level,” Turgeon said. “I think the audience changes, the ages change. You need to have the ability to repackage things to teach the same principles and fundamentals of the game, of life, etc.”
Turgeon replaces Michael Ryan, who was fired by the Pirates after leading the Curve the past three seasons. Ryan won the Eastern League title in 2017, reached the playoffs again in 2018 and is the franchise’s all-time winningest manager.
Turgeon played at a high level in the minors as both a position player and pitcher. He began his career as an infielder, then switched to pitching and reached as high as Triple-A with the Orioles.
Turgeon began his coaching career in the Cleveland Indians’ organization in 2000. He later moved on to the college ranks, serving as an assistant at Boston College, UConn, Duke and Virginia Tech before returning to the minors in 2011.
Turgeon’s coaching staff will include pitching coach Tom Filer and hitting coach David Newhan.
Filer was Altoona’s pitching coach when it won the EL title in 2010.
Newhan is new to the Pirates’ organization. He managed in Double-A with the Angels last year with the Mobile (Ala.) BayBears.
The Curve’s new trainer will be Jorge Islas, while Joe Schlesinger will return for his fourth season as strength and conditioning coach.