Cincinnati Reds fill minor league coaching staffs with former major leaguers

Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds have once again added mostly major leaguers to the coaching staffs for their minor league teams.

The Cincinnati Reds have a former big league second baseman at the helm of their Triple-A and Double-A teams.  They also added a fourth coach to each staff.  The Reds want their minor leaguers to have access to successful former major leaguers before they get to Cincinnati.

Former Montreal Expo second baseman, Delino DeShields, returns as the manager for Triple-A Louisville.  He played in the majors for 13 seasons including playing for both the Chicago Cubs and the Saint Louis Cardinals.  He never won any major individual awards, but he did lead the National League in triples in 1997.

Another former Montreal Expo, Jeff Fassero, is Louisville’s pitching coach.  He also pitched for both the Chicago Cubs and the Saint Louis Cardinals in his 16 year MLB career.  He helped close for the Cubs in 2001, but his career highlight was starting 35 games for the Seattle Mariners in 1997.

Former Chicago Cubs catcher, Jody Davis, is the hitting coach for the Louisville Bats.  He played 10 years for the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves, twice making the All-Star team for the NL.  In 1986 he won the Gold Glove award, but by 1988 he was a part-time player.

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The Pensacola Blue Wahoos’ staff is filled by more former major leaguers for the Cincinnati Reds.

Pat Kelly is the manager for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos.  He is the exception to the big-time MLB player rule as he has only played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980.  He was catcher who played a total of three big league games.

The Blue Wahoos’ pitching coach is former Houston Astros’ hurler, Danny Darwin.  He led the NL with a 2.21 ERA in 1990 as a 34-year old.  Perhaps he should spend some more time in Cincinnati this year, as he led the American League in home runs in 1985 before returning to mostly normal numbers for the rest of his career.  Maybe he could help Brandon Finnegan.

The bench coach for the Blue Wahoos is Dick Schofield, who spent most of his 14 year MLB career as the shortstop for the California Angels.

During his rather anonymous career, his only accolade was finishing 22nd in the AL MVP voting in 1986 as a 23-year old.  Other than that, he spent nine years as a starter in one of the most physical positions on the field.

Next: Here's a look at the Reds' prospects

The goal is for the minor leaguers to reach Cincinnati some day.

Single-A Daytona also has former major leaguers, Eli Marrero and Ricky Gutierrez, on their bench.  There is definitely still a Saint Louis Cardinals feel to the coaching staff from the Walk Jocketty era.  That doesn’t matter, but turning minor leaguers into major leaguers does.