The Pirates are set to interview Twins bench coach Derek Shelton this week for their managerial vacancy, reports LaVelle Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. We’d heard of Pittsburgh’s interest in Shelton, but all that was previously known was that Rocco Baldelli’s right-hand man had popped up on the Bucs’ radar. Shelton becomes the second known candidate to take the next step of interviewing with the Pirates, joining A’s bench coach Ryan Christenson.
Shelton, 49, joins the 45-year-old Christenson as younger candidates to replace 62-year-old Clint Hurdle, who was fired at the end of the season. Neither Shelton nor Christenson has managed at the big league level before, although each has MLB coaching experience with successful small-market clubs, so perhaps there’s a thread emerging in the Bucs’ candidates. Shelton has been bench coach in Minnesota for two years, surviving the transition from Paul Molitor to Baldelli last offseason. Indeed, Shelton was on the radar for the head Twins’ position himself, although he ultimately elected to stay in Minneapolis after Baldelli got the job instead.
Shelton is also slated to interview for the Mets’ managerial job this week. In addition to bench coaching, he’s got big league experience as a hitting coach, having served in that role in Cleveland and Tampa Bay for a decade. He does have some managerial experience as well, albeit at the lowest levels of the minors. Shelton managed three seasons in the Yankees’ farm system at the beginning of the century, although he’s quite a bit removed from his last time running a dugout.
You can track all of the managerial rumors and interviews around baseball here.