Astros: First base coach Don Kelly hired as Pirates bench coach
By Brian Murray
The Astros will be looking to fill a coaching position to replace first base coach Don Kelly, who moves on to Pittsburgh to be the Pirates bench coach.
According to Adam Berry, a beat writer for the Pirates, Pittsburgh has reportedly hired Don Kelly to become their new bench coach. Kelly spent just one season with the Astros under manager AJ Hinch as his first base coach. He’ll now be working with the Pirates newly hired manager Derek Shelton.
Kelly played ball professionally for 16 years including nine seasons in the Major Leagues with the Pirates, Detroit Tigers, and the Miami Marlins. He was the quintessential utility player having played every position over his career, even making one appearance as a pitcher in 2011. He was a career .230 hitter in 584 games and 1220 plate appearances.
The Pennsylvania native was drafted by Detroit in the 8th round of the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft. After a one-year stint with the Pirates in 2007, Kelly played six years with the Tigers and was honored with the Heart and Hustle Award by Detroit in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Before Kelly joined the Houston coaching staff, he spent two years as a professional scout for Detroit.
Kelly is thought to be destined to be a manager one day for a Major League team by many of his colleagues. He was well-liked by coaches and players alike, everywhere he went and in whatever capacity he filled.
"“He’s so nice it’s contagious”, Verlander said. “I think it’s kind of like José (Altuve). He didn’t put up José’s stats but you can tell he’s having fun. People just loved him … He’s just one of those guys people fall in love with.” via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle."
We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors in Pittsburgh and thank him for his services in his brief time here in Houston.