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Meccage Bucs' new assistant pitching coach

Williams named pro scouting director; Vizcaino international scouting director
MLB.com @adamdberry

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates created two new positions in their front office and named Justin Meccage their assistant pitching coach as part of a series of moves within their baseball operations that were announced Friday by general manager Neal Huntington.

Meccage, who spent this year as the club's pitching coordinator, will work with pitching coach Ray Searage and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas. Regarded as a future pitching coach in the big leagues, Meccage worked his way up in that role from Class A Stage College in 2011 to Class A Advanced Bradenton in 2013-14 and Double-A Altoona in 2015-16.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates created two new positions in their front office and named Justin Meccage their assistant pitching coach as part of a series of moves within their baseball operations that were announced Friday by general manager Neal Huntington.

Meccage, who spent this year as the club's pitching coordinator, will work with pitching coach Ray Searage and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas. Regarded as a future pitching coach in the big leagues, Meccage worked his way up in that role from Class A Stage College in 2011 to Class A Advanced Bradenton in 2013-14 and Double-A Altoona in 2015-16.

"We felt Justin was a terrific *complement to Ray and to Euky, much like Ray was to Euky and Joe Kerrigan back in the day. They respect each other," Huntington said. "Just the volume of information that needs to be processed at the Major League level, it was the right time to add Justin and felt like he was the right guy to complement them."

Pittsburgh elevated Steve Williams, most recently a professional scouting supervisor, to the role of pro scouting director. The Bucs also hired Junior Vizcaino, who served as the Red Sox's global crosschecker this year, as their new international scouting director.

Vizcaino, who played in the Pirates' Minor League system from 1987-90, began his scouting career with the Braves in 1994. Before joining the Red Sox, he spent 17 years with the Royals, the last 10 as their national scouting supervisor. He will essentially replace recently dismissed Latin American scouting director Rene Gayo.

"We've added a strong leader to take the Latin American and international scouting departments, to continue to get them to grow, to continue to get them to be better, to make some changes in our process, to make some resulting changes in our outcomes," Huntington said. "He's the right guy for us to reshape this international scouting department and continue to make us better."

Williams has 30 years of Major League scouting experience, and he has been with the Pirates since 2010. He previously worked for the Twins (area scout, 1988-94), Blue Jays (area scout, '95-97), Tigers (regional supervisor, 2000-06) and Royals (assistant scouting director, '07-09).

The Pirates have not had an official pro scouting director or international scouting director in recent years. The departments' leadership has mostly been unofficial or indirect. Tyrone Brooks oversaw the club's pro and non-Latin American scouting departments in his role as director of player personnel, but he left to lead MLB's Diversity Pipeline Program in January 2016.

"We felt like the best way to continue to move that department forward as part of our overall scouting department was to have a department head," Huntington said. "Steve Williams, based on his intelligence, his experience, his knowledge, his passion, his leadership abilities, was a great fit to lead the pro scouting department."

The Pirates also changed Greg Smith's title from assistant general manager to special assistant to the GM, a position more fit for evaluation and advisory work, and moved former Major League scout Sean McNally to the same role. Smith spent the last six years as an assistant GM after serving four years as the club's director of scouting.

Additionally, the Pirates beefed up the rest of their baseball operations and informatics departments by naming John Birkbeck and Matt Taylor as scouting assistants; Trey Rose as baseball operations assistant; and Joe Douglas and Justin Newman as quantitative analysts.

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

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