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Pirates hire Shelton as manager

PITTSBURGH — Derek Shelton is the new manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The team announced the hiring on Wednesday. Shelton replaces Clint Hurdle, who was fired on the final day of the season following a second-half collapse that dropped the Pirates to a last-place finish in the NL Central.

“I have known Derek for more than 15 years and have great admiration for his passion for the game and players, work ethic, curiosity, and desire to learn,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He has worked and learned from some of the best in the game, and in turn has helped players and colleagues learn and improve during his 20 years of coaching and managing.

“We are confident Derek will help lead an elite playing and coaching environment at the Major League level and be a true partner to all of baseball operations as we challenge each other to get better every day. I want to thank our entire baseball operations group for their tireless work over the past several weeks of this search. We are thrilled to get to work with Derek and continue building toward a winning team in Pittsburgh.”

The 49-year-old Shelton spent the last two seasons as the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins. Shelton’s previous stops include a season as the quality control coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017 and seven years as a hitting coach with the Tampa Bay Rays. Shelton broke into the majors as hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2005-09.

“My family and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pittsburgh community and are humbled to be a part of this storied franchise,” Shelton said. “One of the most exciting things for me during the interview process was just how evident the passion for Pittsburgh and the desire to succeed was with everyone I interacted with.

“I very much look forward to developing a strong partnership with Ben and the baseball operations staff. It is going to be an exciting change of culture in our clubhouse. It is going to be a fun environment in which we will all be held accountable to each other. It will be a player-centric culture built on strong communication and relationships with our players, our staff and the entire organization. We will begin to establish those relationships this offseason prior to coming together as a team in Bradenton this February.”

Shelton’s managerial experience is limited to minor league stints in the Yankees’ organization in the early 2000s.

The move completes a leadership overhaul for the Pirates. The team hired Travis Williams as president in October and Cherington as general manager this month.

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