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Pirates Dismiss Hitting Coach Rick Eckstein

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Pirates general manager Ben Cherington  announced that Rick Eckstein has been relieved of his duties as the team’s hitting coach.

“This was a difficult decision as we have a great deal of respect for Rick. Making this decision now gives us the opportunity to use the rest of the season to focus on improvements in our hitting program while also starting the process of looking for a replacement. We wish Rick all the best moving forward,” Cherington said in a statement.

It has been a rough go for the Pirates’ offense in 2021. The Pirates are 27th in average (.233), 25th in on base percentage (.305) and rank last in slugging percentage (.362), OPS (.665) and homeruns (101)

This comes after the Pirates finished last in baseball for OPS in 2020 (.641) as well.

Eckstein was hired by the Pirates prior to the 2019 season, joining then-manager Clint Hurdle’s staff.

He was retained by Derek Shelton once he was hired to be the Pirates manager prior to the 2020 season.

As Cherignton said, the club will begin the process of searching for a replacement. No interim has been named yet.

Christian Marrero is the team’s assistant hitting coach.

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