Pirates name new hitting coach

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The Pirates officially named Jeff Branson the team's hitting coach today. He replaces Jay Bell who joined the Cincinnati Reds staff last week as a bench coach.

The club also announced they have promoted Jeff Livesey from the minor league hitting coordinator to the major league staff as a coach.

Branson, 46, joined the major league staff in December of 2012 and spent 2013 working with Bell. He has been in the Pirates organization for the last 12 years, serving as the Triple-A Indianapolis hitting coach from 2009-2012, and was a manager for three different teams in the club’s farm system.

His playing career as an infielder with the Reds (1992-97) and L.A. Dodgers (2000-01) lasted nine seasons.

Livesey, 47, has been minor league hiting instructor for the last three years, and has spent 11 seasons within the Pirates minor league system as a hitting coach and manager for the Gulf Coast League Pirates. He returned to the Pirates in 2011 after spending five seasons as a coach in Japan.

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