After winning 14 more games than last season, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he’s not ready to rest on his laurels just yet.
Shelton reflected on the season in an interview following the Pirates’ 3-0 win over the Miami Marlins at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday (Feb. 2) to finish the 2023 season with a 76-86 record.
Pittsburgh won 14 more games than it did last year, when it won 62 games. While they fell short in the postseason, they certainly showed improvement.
“It’s important to add 14 wins, but I think we still have a long way to go,” he said.
It’s been a roller coaster season for Pittsburgh. After going 20-9 through April, the Pirates crashed and burned from May through July, going 27-49. They rebounded with a 29-28 record after August.
“I really liked the last two months in particular,” Shelton said. We saw a lot of young players step up. Ben (general manager Ben Cherington) keeps saying, ‘We’ve got to get better,’ and we really have gotten better,” Shelton said, pointing to the development of younger players as the biggest accomplishment.
Pittsburgh’s tenacity was on full display on Sept. 24, when they rallied from a nine-run deficit to win on the road against the Cincinnati Reds. “Our guys showed a lot of grit and didn’t give up,” Shelton said. I think we learned something from the Cincinnati game,” Shelton said.
He mentioned one thing in particular. “When we send young guys down to the minors, they get the message and they come back up better players,” he said, praising Quinn Priester, Nick Gonzalez, and others who have improved since returning to the big leagues. “I think the Triple-A coaching staff has done a great job. That’s really important. Because the big leagues are hard and it humbles you. It’s not just a matter of the major league group doing well, it’s a matter of the entire organization doing well,” he said.
Pittsburgh has been rebuilding for a long time and has acquired a number of top prospects. As a result, the team has a strong prospect pool.레고토토
“There’s going to be a lot of competition in spring training next year,” Shelton said, adding, “Our message during the offseason was ‘get better.’ We won more games than we did last year and got better, but we’re still not where we want to be. “I told them every practice to think about the opponent who played us and was celebrating after they clinched a postseason berth,” he said of his message to the players returning home.
He also shared a message of condolences for Tim Wakefield, who passed away earlier in the day after a battle with brain cancer.
“I played against him for a long time in the American League East and struggled with his knuckleball, but off the field, he was a really nice guy. You could tell just by talking to him for 10 minutes that he was a very good person,” he said, expressing his condolences to the Red Sox organization and his family.