Hitting coach Bell departs Pirates for Reds
By Travis Sawchik
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 8:42 a.m.
After one season as Pirates hitting coach when he presided over uneven production, Jay Bell left the organization this week to become the Cincinnati Reds' bench coach, the Pirates confirmed Tuesday.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he had interviewed candidates over the last two days and already has a favorite in mind to replace Bell: assistant hitting coach Jeff Branson, who has been in the organization for 13 years.
“(Branson) has sweat equity in our organization,” Hurdle said. “I'm not a big fan of turnover. If we go outside, it would be a third guy in three years. So I'd say, yeah, he's probably the favorite.”
Whoever replaces Bell will be charged with improving offensive production. In the National League, the Pirates ranked ninth in runs (161), 11th in batting average (.245) and third in strikeouts (1,330) under Bell.
Bell, a former Pirates shortstop, and new Reds manager Bryan Price worked together in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization from 2007-09 when Price was the team's pitching coach.
“I've known for a long time that Jay has a relationship professionally and personally with Bryan Price,” Hurdle said.
“When he shared his thoughts with me, I'm all for people being happy.”
Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Pirates should exploit free-swinging Brewers
- Pirates notebook: Tabata OK’d to return to play
- Patience pays off as starting pitcher Volquez gets 1st win for Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Walker’s razor a right-handed swing solution
- Breaking down Thursday’s Pirates-Brewers game
- Biertempfel: Expect less yelling with MLB’s replay system
- One-time Bucs pitching prospect now a promising power hitter
- Breaking down Sunday’s Pirates-Brewers game
- Stats Corner: Pedro adds contact, patience to power game
- Pirates notebook: Sore ankle doesn’t hinder McCutchen
- Pirates’ bats finding success looking other way