Pirates shoot at coach Rick Eckstein

Pirates shoot at coach Rick Eckstein

The Pittsburgh Pirates started Monday at 48-83, in last place in the National League Central Division standings, and, according to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), last in all MLB in runs scored, home runs, slugging percentage and more -base percentage plus slugging.

Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington responded by firing coach Rick Eckstein on Monday.

“We are grateful for Rick’s dedication to the team and our players,” Cherington said in the prepared statement. “This was a difficult decision as we have a lot of respect for Rick. By making the decision now, we have the opportunity to use the rest of the season to focus on improvements to our batting program, while also starting the looking for a replacement. We wish Rick all the best for the future.”

Eckstein had the role since November 2018.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton added:

“I appreciate Rick’s tireless work ethic and his passion for our players. Despite the challenging season, Rick has always done his best to connect and help our players. He is a great person who we will all support for his next opportunity.”

The ever-building Pirates are off Monday and will play with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday (76-56, first place in the American League Central).

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