Pirates fire Double-A manager Michael Ryan
The Pittsburgh Pirates have let go successful Double-A manager Michael Ryan after three seasons with the Altoona Curve.
In a statement released to WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pirates director of minor league operations Larry Broadway said the team informed Ryan he would not return as Altoona’s manager next season and discussed other non-managing roles for the 42-year-old native of Indiana, Pa.
“Michael is exploring opportunities with other organizations, and we support his efforts,” Broadway said in the statement. “We appreciate Michael’s efforts and who he is as a person and wish him well.”
Ryan told the Altoona Mirror he was blindsided by the move.
“I wasn’t even aware that my job was in jeopardy,” he said.
The Curve went 69-71 this season, finishing fourth in their division. They won a division title in each of Ryan’s previous two seasons as manager, claiming the Eastern League championship in 2017.
I can tell you I'm absolutely stunned Michael Ryan got fired.
He's best manager I've dealt with in 22 years of covering minor leagues.
He made players accountable. He developed them. And he won.
He won 2 league titles for Pirates & helped developed most of current MLB roster.
— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) September 3, 2019
This year’s Curve roster was largely bereft of top prospects. Infielder Oneil Cruz is the only player who spent much of the season in Altoona who could be considered a top-10 prospect in the Pirates system.
“There are some things as far as relaying the Pirate culture and different off-the-field things I could have done better at as far as meetings and things they want done,” Ryan told the Mirror.
Ryan had been with the Pirates organization since 2013, managing West Virginia in the South Atlantic League and Bradenton in the Florida State League before being promoted to Altoona.
Ryan’s record is 228-200 with the Curve and 513-470 as a minor league manager.
Very shocked to hear @AltoonaCurve manager Michael Ryan has been let go. He just confirmed/told me directly “Yes. I was let go. Just told they (the organization) wanted to make a change.” Ryan guided the curve to the playoffs in 2/3 years as manager and won the EL Title in 2017
— Ryan Stanko (@RStanko_WJAC) September 3, 2019
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .