Former Pirates join special instructors ranks

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 1 hour ago BRADENTON, Fla. — John Candelaria and Rennie Stennett are newcomers this year among the crew of former Pirates players who serve as special instructors during big league spring training camp. Candelaria,...

Former Pirates join special instructors ranks

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Updated 1 hour ago

BRADENTON, Fla. — John Candelaria and Rennie Stennett are newcomers this year among the crew of former Pirates players who serve as special instructors during big league spring training camp.

Candelaria, 63, pitched 19 seasons in the majors. He amassed 124 wins with the Pirates from 1975 (his rookie season) to 1985 (when he was traded to the Angels). He spent his final five seasons working mostly as a reliever, including a 24-outing stint with the Pirates in 1993 (his final season).

Candelaria is scheduled to help pitching coach Ray Searage evaluate bullpens Tuesday morning. All the big guns — including Gerrit Cole, Ivan Nova, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, Tony Watson and Felipe Rivero — will throw.

Stennett, 65, played for the Pirates from 1971 (rookie year) to 1979. He spent his final two seasons with the Giants.

The other special instructors this year are Bill Mazeroski, Bill Virdon, Kent Tekulve, Steve Blass, Manny Sanguillen and Omar Moreno.

Gosselin has Philly roots

The trade that brought Phil Gosselin to the Pirates also brought him closer to home. Gosselin grew up in Malvern, about a half-hour outside of Philadelphia.

“It's across the state, but still a lot closer than Arizona,” Gosselin said. “I grew up a Phillies fan. And the Flyers.”

Will Gosselin be OK with donning a black-and-gold jersey if manager Clint Hurdle schedules another Penguins-themed road trip?

“I might have to, but my buddies back home might not be happy with me,” Gosselin said with a laugh.

A four-year veteran, Gosselin said the management hasn't yet given him a specific plan for his role if he makes the team. He can play second, third, short, first and left field.

“I'm open to playing anywhere,” Gosselin said. “I kind of like that role, bouncing around. It's fun. It's something different every day, so I'm ready for whatever they throw at me. I'm excited for the opportunity here. It seems like a great organization.”

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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