CURVE, PA – The Altoona Curve, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced the 2022 Coaching Staff on Wednesday. Kieran Mattison has been named the 13th manager in franchise history, he’ll be joined by Pitching Coach Drew Benes, Hitting Coach Jon Nunnally, Integrated Baseball Performance Coach Blake Butler and Development
CURVE, PA – The Altoona Curve, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced the 2022 Coaching Staff on Wednesday. Kieran Mattison has been named the 13th manager in franchise history, he’ll be joined by Pitching Coach Drew Benes, Hitting Coach Jon Nunnally, Integrated Baseball Performance Coach Blake Butler and Development Coach Stephen Morales.
Mattison joins the Curve after leading the Greensboro Grasshoppers to the High-A East Championship series in 2021. Mattison has coached in the Pirates minor league system since 2015 and joins the Curve for his fifth season as a manager after a nine-year playing career on the mound. As Manager he has accumulated a 176-157 (.529) record after leading the DSL Pirates in 2017, the West Virginia Black Bears in 2018, the Bristol Pirates in 2019 and the Grasshoppers in 2021.
Raised in Anderson, South Carolina, Mattison played his collegiate ball at East Carolina University and went on to pitch for nine seasons in the professional ranks. Originally a Kansas City Royals farmhand, Mattison’s playing career includes three seasons with the Cleveland Guardians organization, reaching Triple-A Buffalo in 2005, and one season in the LA Dodgers organization in 2008 as well as extensive experience in the independent ranks and overseas with the Sinon Bulls in Taiwan in 2009. Following the 2010 season, Mattison wrapped up his playing career with a 40-23 record and a 4.12 ERA in 555.1 innings on the mound. Mattison’s first coaching opportunity came overseas for the Paris University Baseball Club (PUC) in 2013 and 2014, leading his team to the league championship series in the 2014 season. Mattison also served as the Pitching Coach for the 2014 French National Team alongside Head Coach Eric Gagne. He joined the Pirates organization in 2015 as the First Base Coach at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Pitching Coach Drew Benes returns for a second season in Altoona after serving in the same role in 2021. In his first season with the Curve, Benes oversaw the development of several pitchers who earned promotions to Triple-A Indianapolis during the season and aided Johnstown, PA native, Trey McGough who was named the team’s Pitcher of the Year. The 2022 season will be his sixth season as a coach in the Pirates organization. Born in Evansville, IN, Drew is the son of former major league pitcher Andy Benes and the nephew of former big leaguer Alan Benes and minor leaguer Adam Benes.
Hitting Coach Jon Nunnally returns for a second stint in Altoona after spending the 2021 season in the same role at Triple-A Indianapolis. 2022 will be his fourth season as a coach in the Pirates minor league system, including a season as the Hitting Coach in Altoona in 2019. No stranger to the Double-A Northeast League, Nunnally spent one season as the Hitting Coach for the Portland Sea Dogs in 2016 and two seasons as the Hitting Coach with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2012 and 2014. Prior to joining the Pirates organization, Nunnally served as the Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator for the Los Angeles Angels for two seasons. Nunnally was selected in the third round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft by Cleveland and went on to play parts of six seasons in the majors with Kansas City, Cincinnati, Boston and the New York Mets. He played the 2005 season with the Pirates at Triple-A Indianapolis before beginning his coaching career. The 2022 campaign will be his 15th as a coach.
Integrated Baseball Performance Coach Blake Butler enters his second season coaching with the Pirates after serving as the Development Coach for High-A Greensboro in 2021. Prior to joining the organization, Butler served as a coaching assistant at Davidson College after stints as an assistant coach at the College of Charleston and Francis Marion University. A 15th round selection by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, Butler spent three seasons in the Reds system before beginning his career as a coach. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Butler played three seasons at the College of Charleston from 2013-15.
Rounding out the staff is Development Coach Stephen Morales. Morales returns to Altoona for a second season after serving as the team’s Third Base and Catching Coach in 2018. Since his time in Altoona, Morales has spent two seasons managing in the Pirates minor league system leading the DSL Pirates to a 34-36 record in 2019 and the FCL Pirates to a 19-23 mark in 2021. A former minor league catcher, who hails from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Morales was selected in the 23rd round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft by the Florida Marlins and spent seven seasons in their system: reaching Triple-A Calgary in 2001. He went on to play nine seasons of professional baseball with appearances in the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres organization and in the independent ranks.
The Curve are slated to begin the 2022 season on Friday, April 8 with a three-game series against the Harrisburg Senators. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., during every home game and online 24/7/365.