The Pirates will be adding Mendy Lopez to their big league coaching staff, according to Antonio Puesan, digital marketing director for the Toros del Este club in the Dominican Winter League (Twitter link). Lopez isn’t replacing anyone on the Pirates’ current staff, but Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets that Lopez will be focusing on infield coaching duties. Bench coach Don Kelly frequently works with the Bucs’ infielders, but he’ll now have one less duty on his plate with Lopez joining the coaching ranks.
Lopez joins a Major League staff for the first time, after working as the hitting coach with Pittsburgh’s lower A-ball affiliate. The 49-year-old previously spent four seasons as the Pirates’ field coordinator in Latin America, as well as three seasons as a manager with the Pirates’ Dominican Summer League squad.
Fans may best remember Lopez from his playing days, as he spent seven seasons in the majors from 1998-2004. Most of that time was spent with the Royals, but Lopez also spent parts of two seasons in Pittsburgh, suiting up for 25 games with the Bucs in 2001-02. Lopez’s playing career extended well beyond his time in the majors, as he also played with the KBO League’s Samsung Lions in 2004, and then with multiple Mexican League teams from 2006-13.