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Pirates name Branson hitting coach

<p>The Pittsburgh Pirates have named Jeff Branson the team's new hitting coach.</p>

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates have named Jeff Branson the team's new hitting coach.

Branson, a former big league infielder for nine seasons from 1992-2001, was the assistant hitting coach to Jay Bell last year. He has spent 12 years with the Pittsburgh organization, serving as a minor league manager for five years and as the hitting coach at Triple-A Indianapolis from 2009-12.

The 46-year-old Branson was a .246 hitter for the Reds, Indians and Dodgers.

Bell is set to become the bench coach for new Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price.

The Pirates also named Jeff Livesey as a major league coach. Livesey has been Pittsburgh's minor league hitting coordinator for the past three seasons.

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