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Pirates retain top 2 managers in Minors system

Esposito returns as Triple-A skipper, Ryan back at Double-A
January 18, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates on Friday announced their Minor League coaching staff assignments for the 2019 season, featuring a pair of familiar names managing in the upper levels of their system.Brian Esposito will return as the Triple-A Indianapolis manager, and Michael Ryan is back at the helm for Double-A Altoona.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates on Friday announced their Minor League coaching staff assignments for the 2019 season, featuring a pair of familiar names managing in the upper levels of their system.
Brian Esposito will return as the Triple-A Indianapolis manager, and Michael Ryan is back at the helm for Double-A Altoona. This will be Esposito's second season with Indianapolis and Ryan's third with Altoona.
Wyatt Toregas will move up a level to manage Class A Advanced Bradenton. Miguel Perez, who managed the Rookie-level Bristol squad last year, will lead the Pirates' new Class A Greensboro affiliate. After guiding the Dodgers' Rancho Cucamonga team to a California League title last year, Drew Saylor will manage Class A Short-Season West Virginia. Rounding out the Bucs' group of Minor League managers are Kieran Mattison (Bristol), Gera Alvarez (Gulf Coast League), Stephen Morales and Shawn Bowman (Dominican Summer League).
The Pirates shuffled some of their upper-level coaching staffs. Ryan Long will return as Indianapolis' hitting coach, and Bryan Hickerson will move up from Altoona to be the Triple-A pitching coach.
Former Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan will replace Hickerson in Altoona, continuing his climb up the Minor League coaching ranks. With Keoni De Renne joining the Triple-A Iowa Cubs staff, the Curve will have a new hitting coach: Jon Nunnally, a former Major League hitting coach with the Indians.
The Pirates often make their player-development coaching decisions based on the best fits rather than status, so it's not as simple as saying someone was promoted to a higher level or demoted to a lower level. Former Triple-A pitching coach Stan Kyle, for instance, is joining Greensboro's staff in the same role this year.
"We work hard to not have our Minor League coaches in a hierarchical system so that our best guy is [always] at Triple-A," general manager Neal Huntington said last month at the Winter Meetings. "We try to place the guy who we feel matches that group that's coming to him, what his strengths are -- whether it's a game plan or he's really strong on mechanics. The managers, it's tougher. The managers, by nature, are a bit more hierarchical.
"We may ask a [coach] to go here or ask him to go there because he's a better fit with group X, Y or Z, then there may be that opportunity to follow that group through [the system] as [assistant pitching coach Justin Meccage] kind of did."
Here are all of the Pirates' Minor League coaching staff assignments for this year.
Triple-A Indianapolis
Manager: Brian Esposito
Hitting coach: Ryan Long
Pitching coach: Bryan Hickerson
Athletic trainer: Dru Scott
Strength & conditioning: Alan Burr
Double-A Altoona
Manager: Michael Ryan
Hitting coach: Jon Nunnally
Pitching coach: Joel Hanrahan
Athletic trainer: Justin Ahrens
Strength & conditioning: Joe Schlesinger
Class A Advanced Bradenton
Manager: Wyatt Toregas
Hitting coach: Butch Wynegar
Pitching coach: Drew Benes
Athletic trainer: Matt DenBleyker
Strength & conditioning: Logan Byman
Class A Greensboro
Manager: Miguel Perez
Hitting coach: Chris Petersen
Pitching coach: Stan Kyles
Athletic trainer: Jorge Islas
Strength & conditioning: Jim Seratt
Class A Short-Season West Virginia
Manager: Drew Saylor
Hitting coach: Jonny Tucker
Pitching coach: Tom Filer
Athletic trainer: Tyler Brooks
Strength & conditioning: Mark Dixon
Rookie-level Bristol
Manager: Kieran Mattison
Hitting coach: Jonathan Prieto
Pitching coach: Eric Minshall
Athletic trainer: Matt McNamee
Strength & conditioning: TBA
Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates
Manager: Gera Alvarez
Hitting coach: Kory DeHaan
Pitching coach: Fernando Nieve
Athletic trainer: Lee Slagle
Strength & conditioning: Nick Pressley
Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Pirates 1
Manager: Stephen Morales
Hitting coach: Luis Borges
Pitching coach: Randor Bierd
Athletic trainer: Alex Mena
Strength & conditioning: Adam Marso
Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Pirates 2
Manager: Shawn Bowman
Hitting coach: Julio Bruno
Pitching coach: Yorman Bazardo
Athletic trainer: Victor Silva
Strength & conditioning: Glenn Nutting

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog.