PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pirates made several changes in the offseason this year and one of them was parting ways with Manager Clint Hurdle and bringing in new Manager Derek Shelton.
Other changes could be on the way, including a possible trade of outfielder Starling Marte.
“Saying whether he’s going to be here or not, I think that’s yet to be determined,” Shelton said. “Definitely a very good player, someone that’s done a nice job during his time here. Knowing what’s going to happen going forward, I think that’s hard to say.”
Despite no big signings or offseason moves, Shelton is still happy with where the roster is just ahead of Spring Training.
“I think we’re always going to be a fluid roster, I think it’s one of the things when you’re building a club, especially building a club in our market, you have to be aware of everything that’s going on a daily basis, on a monthly basis, on a yearly basis,” he said. “It’s a good young core, a good nucleus, and I’m excited about it.”
Unlike some of the players that are returning for the 2020 season, Shelton is new but he has already seen that his players are motivated.
“I think there’s motivation from the players because they were here, I wasn’t here,” he said. “I’m excited for what we’re going to bring, how we’re going to bring it, what we’re going to do shift the culture and I think the players are excited about that.”
Despite being the new hire with a roster that has remained largely unchanged, Shelton has spent time in the offseason watching film, scouting his roster, and preparing for the upcoming year.
“I’ve watched video, I’ve watched hitting video, I’ve watched pitching video, I’ve watched ground ball video, I think it’s more to get myself acclimated to them,” he said. “I’ve been in the American League for the last 15 years, so I’ve been to Pittsburgh a couple times as a visiting coach. That’s how you get acclimated until we can get on the field in Bradenton.”
Shelton knows that fans have been frustrated with the Pirates lack of success the past few seasons and with that, he said he’d be more concerned if fans weren’t frustrated.
“It’s a new president, it’s a new GM, it’s a new manager, it’s a new coaching staff, I think that in and of itself, signs the signals of change, so there’s where optimism is,” he said. “If we went out in the community and they weren’t passionate about it, it would worry me. But when you go out and everyone wants to talk about it and everyone has an opinion about it, that’s one of the cool things.”
As he continued to discuss the changing culture inside the Pirates clubhouse, he said he’s approaching the 2020 season, including the roster, with an open mind.
“I am open-minded, I have certain thoughts on how things are going to go,” he said. “To tell you I haven’t written down probably 30 or 40 lineups on a scratch piece of paper, when I’m sitting at a red light or breakfast, I’ve done that. I’ve talked to our staff about it, but I have a general idea but I’m excited to see them on the field so we can make that decision.”