Bradenton, Fla. - The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced their minor league managerial and coaching assignments for the 2017 season. The announcement was made by Pirates Director of Minor League Operations Larry Broadway.
Gera Alvarez will manage the Marauders in the team's eighth season. Alvarez is the sixth manager to take the helm in franchise history. Alvarez was a manager for the Pirates in the Dominican Summer League from 2012-2014. He was the Dominican Republic Academy Coordinator from 2014-2016. In 2012 he managed the DSL 1 team to the league championship. The Baltimore Orioles drafted Alvarez as an infielder in the 16th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft. He played in 627 games over seven minor league seasons. Prior to his professional career, Alvarez enjoyed a record setting collegiate career at Texas Tech and was an All-Big 12 academic selection.
Keoni De Renne returns as the Marauders hitting coach. De Renne is in his sixth season with the Pirates organization. The Marauders recorded a league-best .265 team average under De Renne's tutelage in 2016. De Renne played in more than 1,000 games during his professional career.
Matt Ford joins the Marauders as pitching coach after spending last season in the same position with the West Virginia Power. This is Ford's third season with the Pirates organization. Ford helped mentor Mitch Keller towards winning the Most Outstanding Pitcher Award in the South Atlantic League. After being drafted in the third round by the Blue Jays in 1999, Ford went on to be a Rule 5 selection of the Brewers following the 2002 season. He made 25 appearances, including four starts, with Milwaukee during the 2003 season.
Alvarez follows Michael Ryan, who managed the Marauders to their first championship in 2016. Ryan will manage the Double-A Altoona Curve in 2017.
The 2017 Marauders home opener at McKechnie Field will be on Saturday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. The Marauders host the Charlotte Stone Crabs in a matchup of the last two Florida State League champions.
For more information about the Bradenton Marauders, please call 941-747-3031, visit www.BradentonMarauders.com, or email MaraudersInfo@pirates.com.