The Cincinnati Reds move coaches around their system in preparation for 2018.
The Cincinnati Reds re-organized their minor league coaching staff for the second consecutive off-season. Last year they focused on adding former major leaguer players at all levels. This off-season they appear to be re-distributing the talent to different roles.
The most noticeable change is the manager job at Triple-A Louisville. Last year, Delino DeShields managed the Bats. In 2018 Pat Kelly has been tapped to manage in Louisville.
Kelly managed Double-A Pensacola last year. He will manage several of the same players for a second year in a row. This may also put him on path to be a bench coach in Cincinnati in 2019 or beyond.
Kelly has been managing in the minors for 26 years. This will be Kelly’s fifth different role with the Reds’ organization. He managed in Pensacola for three years.
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Former Chicago Cub and Atlanta Brave catcher Jody Davis will replace Kelly at Pensacola after joining the Reds organization last offseason. Last season, Davis was the hitting coach at Louisville. Despite having a park conducive to home runs, the Bats hit fewer home runs than expected in 2017.
Former major league infielder Ricky Gutierrez will manage at High-A Daytona. He is best known for his shortstop play with the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. His bench coach is Desi Relaford who also had an MLB career as a shortstop.
The coaches that work with minor league pitchers in the Cincinnati Reds system have stability.
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Jeff Fassero is returning as the pitching coach for Louisville. This continuity is important for both the starting and relieving pitchers that will return their after spring training. In particular, Rookie Davis and Ariel Hernandez may need the continuity before joining the Reds in 2018.
Danny Darwin will continue on in his role as pitching coach in Pensacola. He did a great job in 2017 getting Ariel Hernandez, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle ready for their major league debuts. He may have left-handed prospect Scott Moss among others to work with in 2018.
Tom Brown is returning as the pitching coach in Daytona. In Low-A Seth Etherton will be the pitching coach. Based on past seasons, they both need to work with starting pitchers to go deeper into games.
The Reds have a ton of talent in the minors thanks to high draft picks. They just need to get that talent ready to contribute. Hopefully, however, these changes will do just that.