Pirates promote four within front office

Hopkins, Ruebel named special assistants to GM Huntington

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates announced four promotions within their baseball operations department on Monday, including two moves to fill holes created over the last two months.

Pittsburgh named Ron Hopkins and Matt Ruebel special assistants to the general manager. Hopkins had been a pro scout for the Bucs, while Ruebel was working as a national supervisor in the club's scouting department.

Hopkins and Ruebel will essentially replace Marc DelPiano and Jim Benedict, former special assistants to the GM who left earlier this year to take front office jobs with the Marlins.

When DelPiano left in September, and again when Benedict departed in October, Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington stressed the importance of opportunity -- for DelPiano and Benedict in their careers, and for the men who would assume bigger roles for the Pirates in their place.

"Part of our staple is to help staff members reach their personal and professional goals. Sometimes that means people have to leave the organization in pursuit of those individual ambitions," Huntington said after Benedict became the Marlins' vice president, pitching development. "At the same time, in part because of Jim, we've got a group of talented pitching coaches that will have an opportunity to step up and take steps forward in their career and rise to the challenge."

The Pirates also promoted Rodney Henderson and Everett Russell to the role of professional scout. Henderson most recently served as the Pirates' southeast region supervisor, and Russell was the midwest region supervisor.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.