The Pirates relieved a couple members of their coaching staff of their duties this morning. Relax, unfortunately it wasn’t manager John Russell. Instead, pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho were informed their services would no longer be needed by the franchise.
While Russell and hitting coach Don Long also need to go, this is a start for the Pirates to hopefully get a quality coaching staff around their young talent for next season.
Kerrigan came to the Pirates two seasons ago and talked a great deal about what his pitchers would do, but we never saw it executed on the field. We’ve heard a ton about pitching inside and throwing first pitch strikes. Pirates pitchers have no clue what the inside of the plate looks like and more often than not begin the count behind 2-0 on every hitter.
The Pirates staff as a whole has an eye popping 5.07 era on the season, which just can’t happen. Not one starting pitcher has seen improvement on Kerrigan’s watch. In fact, most have regressed so bad, that you have to wonder if they ever will recover. That’s a long list of names that include: Charlie Morton, Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf, Brad Lincoln and Paul Maholm.
Kerrigan will be replaced on an interim basis by Roy Searage, who served as the assistant pitching coach under Kerrigan.
Varsho will be replaced as bench coach by Minor League Field Coordinator Jeff Bannister, also on an interim basis. Varsho’s duties included setting a Pirates defense that plays in the exact same spot, every pitch to every batter. Maybe Bannister will take a look at a scouting report or two and adjust accordingly.
As the Pirates begin plans for 2011, two down and two to go when it comes to the Pirates coaching staff.