PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Pirates fired bench coach Gary Varsho and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan prior to Sunday’s 8-4 setback to the Colorado Rockies.
Varsho was in his third season as bench coach for manager John Russell, while Kerrigan was his second year as pitching coach.
“Both Gary and Joe are quality baseball men who have worked hard during their time with the organization,” said Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. “However, `John Russell~ felt strongly, and I agreed, that they were no longer the right fit for our staff and a change at this time was in the best interests of the club.”
These moves came on the heels of a dramatic 8-7 victory in 10 innings on Saturday, when the Pirates’ bullpen blew a 5-2 lead in the ninth, only to see Pedro Alvarez hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th.
The Pirates named Jeff Banister interim bench coach and Ray Searage interim pitching coach. Banister had been the organization’s minor league field coordinator and is in his 25th year with the franchise, while Searage had been the club’s assistant pitching coach after spending the previous seven years as a minor league pitching coach at various levels.