Pirates hire Jay Bell as hitting coach

The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired longtime major league

infielder Jay Bell as the new hitting coach.

Bell replaces Gregg Ritchie, who left the team to become the

coach at George Washington University.

The 46-year-old Bell spent 18 seasons in the majors, including

eight years with the Pirates from 1989-96. Bell was a two-time

All-Star and hit .265 with 195 home runs and 860 RBI in 2,063

career games. He retired after the 2003 season.

Bell spent the 2012 season as hitting coach for the Mobile

BayBears, the Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate.

The Pirates hired Rick Sofield as first base coach and Dave

Jauss as major league coach. Former first base coach Luis Silverio

will serve as a senior adviser to minor league operations.