Pirates Fireplace Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein
The Pirates introduced Monday that they’ve fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein. An interim substitute was not named, although assistant hitting coach Christian Marrero is remaining with the membership.
“We’re grateful for Rick’s dedication to the crew and our gamers,” common supervisor Ben Cherington mentioned in a press launch saying Eckstein’s dismissal. “This was a tough choice as now we have an excessive amount of respect for Rick. Making the choice now provides us the chance to make use of the remainder of the season to concentrate on enhancements in our hitting program whereas additionally beginning the method of in search of a substitute. We want Rick all the very best transferring ahead.”
The older brother of former large league infielder David Eckstein, Rick Eckstein has been with the Pirates since being employed on Nov. 26, 2018. He’d beforehand served as a coach each on the NCAA degree and within the Majors (Nationals, Angels). On the time of his hiring in Pittsburgh, he’d spent the 2 prior seasons serving because the Twins’ minor league hitting coordinator. Eckstein was one among two coaches on the Pirates’ Main League workers whose hiring predated that of present common supervisor Ben Cherington and supervisor Derek Shelton — the opposite being third base coach Joey Cora.
“I admire Rick’s tireless work ethic and his ardour for our gamers,” Shelton mentioned in as we speak’s press launch. “Regardless of the difficult season, Rick all the time put within the effort to attach and assist our gamers. He is a good one who we’ll all be rooting for in his subsequent alternative.”
Whereas the hitting coach definitely isn’t solely liable for a crew’s offensive woes (or its successes), the Pirates’ offensive ineptitude in 2021 has however been obtrusive. Pittsburgh ranks final within the Majors with 470 runs scored, and so they rank 27th, 25th and 30th in batting common, on-base proportion and slugging proportion, respectively. The Pirates’ crew .233/.304/.362 batting line has resulted in an MLB-worst 81 wRC+, and no crew has hit fewer than their mixed 101 house runs.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reported Eckstein was being dismissed shortly earlier than the crew made its formal announcement (Twitter hyperlink).