Rob Biertempfel reported yesterday that the Pirates will be retaining their entire Major League coaching staff, but trainers Brad Henderson and Mike Sandoval won't be returning in 2012.
The news on the coaching staff isn't a huge surprise; they've only been on the job for one year and for the most part, I thought the individual coaches did good work. I thought maybe Gregg Ritchie would be sacrificed in the name of the terrible offense, but since it appears that Clint Hurdle's the hitting coach anyway, I suppose firing Ritchie even for symbolic purposes wouldn't accomplish much.
It is kind of surprising to see the trainers go. This is what Huntington had to say about it:
"In no way should they be viewed as scapegoats," Huntington said. "I want a different approach, a different skill set, a different environment in our medical department. I want a shift in philosophy in how we approach the medical side of things."
There were some interesting things that happened with injuries this year -- mostly guys sitting injured on the active roster for three or four days before going on the disabled list -- but thinking about that now kind of seems like hindsight because it's possible that it happens every year and I just never give it a second though. It also seems clear now that Evan Meek's injury early in the season was mis-handled and that doing so may have cost him an extended period of time.
In any case, it'll be interesting to see who they hire and what the "shift in philosophy" might be. I think most teams probably have room to improve, especially when it comes to pitcher health, but it's not at all clear what needs to be done. I'm curious what Huntington and company's new philosophy might be.