Pirates stay in house, pick Mike Rabelo as new third base coach

The Pittsburgh Pirates will name Mike Rabelo their third base coach, moving their major league field coordinator to a new role next season, a source confirmed Wednesday night to the Tribune-Review.

Rabelo, 41, was hired as assistant hitting coach in January 2020 then shifted into a position where he worked as liaison between the major league and minor league staffs.

A fourth-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2001, Rabelo spent parts of three seasons in the majors with the Tigers and Marlins. He spent six seasons managing minor league teams in the Tigers system.

Rabelo replaces Joey Cora, who was fired at the end of the season. Where Cora worked with infielders, Pirates manager Derek Shelton said that another coach could handle those duties, mentioning bench coach Don Kelly as one possibility.

The Pirates have now filled both openings on their coaching staff. They have an agreement to make Andy Haines their hitting coach to replace Rick Eckstein, who was fired on Aug. 30. Rabelo worked with Pirates hitters over the final month-plus of the 2021 season.

Shelton’s coaching staff, however, isn’t complete. The Pirates are expected to make additional hires within the next week.

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at kgorman@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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