As Blog Red Machine effectively broke yesterday, Jim Riggleman has finally been promoted to Triple-A Louisville after seven weeks of speculation over the job. The Reds continued their tradition of hiring coaches from within the minor-league system with the move, shifting the former Pensacola coach to Louisville while Delino DeShields transitioned from Dayton to fill the vacant position. Riggleman’s new job seems like a one-step process on the surface — the Bats needed a coach, and here he is — but his departure was the first domino to fall in a long series of coaching changes.
Let’s look at how each minor-league team was affected by yesterday’s announcement:
Louisville Bats, AAA
Manager: Jim Riggleman (replaces David Bell)
Hitting Coach: TBA (Ryan Jackson, 2012)
Pitching Coach: TBA (Ted Power, 2006-12)
The Bats’ full-piece article notes that the Reds will fill these positions in the weeks leading up to Opening Day 2013, but as of yet have not named the coaches. Interestingly, this will be Riggleman’s third tour in Louisville following a short-lived coaching career with the former Redbirds in 1982 and as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals’ player development staff in 1988.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos, AA
Manager: Delino DeShields (replaces Jim Riggleman)
Hitting Coach: Tony Jaramillo
Pitching Coach: Tom Brown
DeShields is a prime example of the Reds’ promotion phenomena, serving as the Billings Mustangs’ skipper in 2010 before joining the Dayton staff in 2011. He posted a 143-135 mark over two years, good for second all-time in franchise history. In addition to the announcement of DeShields as manager, Cincinnati confirmed that both assistant coaches would remain on the squad in 2013, along with athletic trainer Charles Leddon.
Bakersfield Blaze, A
Manager: Ken Griffey, Sr.
Hitting Coach: Eli Marrero
Pitching Coach: Rigo Beltran
The Blaze staff remains unchanged as Griffey is slated to return for his third season. 2013 will be the second and third years for Marrero and Beltran in Bakersfield, respectively.
Dayton Dragons, A
Manager: Jose Nieves (replaces Delino DeShields)
Hitting Coach: TBA (Alex Pelaez, 2011-12)
Pitching Coach: Tony Fossas (replaces Tom Browning)
Nieves will oversee the Dragons after serving three years in developmental leagues. A former major leaguer, he was part of the then-Anaheim Angels 2002 World Series championship team. Coincidentally, Nieves played for the Chicago Cubs while both he and Riggleman were on the squad in 1998 and 1999. Fossas rejoins the Dayton staff after a one-year stint in Billings; given the nature of his promotion, he will be able to continue working with pitchers he first instructed last season.
Meanwhile, Pelaez and Browning will return to the Reds organization in 2013 with different affiliates.
Billings Mustangs, Rookie
Manager: Pat Kelly
Hitting Coach: Ray Martinez
Pitching Coach: TBA (Tony Fossas, 2012)
The short-season team loses Fossas to Dayton but is yet to announce his departure, much less his replacement. Kelly will lead the Mustangs for his third straight year, while Martinez returns for a second season in Billings.
All things considered, the wording of Dayton’s official statement suggests that Pelaez and Browning are likely positioned for Triple-A promotions. Neither Billings nor Louisville will need to make an immediate decision, but be sure to check BRM as Opening Day approaches for the latest minor-league information.