5 managers who could replace Reds' David Bell if 2024 continues to go south

Is it time for the Reds to dump David Bell?
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell
Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

While it seems very unlikely to actually occur, the number of fans wanting to see the Cincinnati Reds make a managerial change appears to be growing by the minute. David Bell isn't necessarily on the hot seat, but the Reds skipper can't be too comfortable considering how the 2024 season has begun.

The Reds entered the season with high expectations, but after starting out 14-10, Cincinnati has sputtered of late and the bats have gone ice-cold. Bell continues to maintain that things will turn around, but fans have their doubts.

An in-season firing seems highly unlikely — especially after Bell signed a three-year contract extension last season. However, it's possible that the Reds and Bell could part ways after the season if the team falls short of its goals this season. Who might the Reds hire as their new skipper if Bell is let go?

Walt Weiss, Braves bench coach

A former major league shortstop, Walt Weiss is currently the bench coach for Brian Snitker. The Atlanta Braves have been one of the top organizations in baseball for the past five years, so it would stand to reason that the Reds should attempt to contact Weiss if there's an opening this fall.

Weiss has previous managerial experiences, spending four seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Weiss took the Rockies to a 283-365 record, and was hired by Atlanta after taking a year off. The 60-year-old was in the mix to join the Miami Marlins as their manager in 2022, but turned down the opportunity for an interview. Weiss may have no intention of leaving the Braves organization, but that doesn't mean the Reds shouldn't ask.

Caleb Cotham, Phillies pitching coach

The last time the Reds put a former pitching coach into the lead role in the clubhouse, it didn't go so well. Bryan Price never had a winning season during his tenure as the Reds manager, but the team was also in a perpetual rebuild — never giving Price much of anything to work with.

Caleb Cotham has experience with the Reds organization, as he was the assistant pitching coach before joining the Philadelphia Phillies. Cotham is highly respected in many circles throughout baseball, and given the Reds' emphasis on pitching and development, having a manager like Cotham could yield tremendous results for the organization if Cincinnati parts company with Bell.

Collin Cowgill, Reds first base coach

There's always an in-house candidate, and a lot of Reds players would probably advocate for Collin Cowgill to take over the reigns if Bell was fired. Cowgill is a native of the area, and his fiery personality would certainly endear him with the Reds' fanbase who've been looking for the type of manager who wears his emotions on his sleeve.

The issue with Cowgill, of course, is experience. At just 37 years old, Cowgill would become the youngest skipper in the big leagues, just behind Oliver Marmol of the St. Louis Cardinals. Marmol's lack of success could be a deterrent for teams looking to inject some youth into their coaching staff. It did, however, work for the Tampa Bay Rays when they signed Kevin Cash to take over for Joe Maddon several years back.

David Ross, Former Cubs manager

This would be fun, right? David Ross was unceremoniously fired from his job as the Chicago Cubs manager last fall. It's a good bet that Ross is looking to get back into the dugout in some capacity, and the former Reds catcher would likely love to manage his old team.

Ross was replaced by former Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell following an 83-win season, and would undoubtedly relish the idea of returning to the NL Central and oppose the team that let him go. Ross was 262-284 in four years on the North Side of Chicago with two winning seasons during his tenure with the Cubs.

Donnie Ecker, Rangers offensive coordinator

One of the hottest names that could be available this offseason is Texas Rangers offensive coordinator, and former Reds hitting coach Donnie Ecker. The San Francisco Giants were thought to be on the cusp of signing Ecker to be their manager last offseason before finally agreeing to terms with former San Diego Padres skipper, Bob Melvin.

Ecker has found success almost everywhere he's been. In 2021, during his time in San Francisco, the Giants were first in OPS (.769) among all National League teams. Last year, with Ecker as Texas' bench coach and offensive coordinator, the Rangers were tops in the American League with a .789 OPS. If you're a Reds fan who wants to see the team take on a bat-first identity, Ecker might be your guy.

To be fair, we're just 41 games into the 2024 season, and Bell has been without two of his best bats. Noelvi Marte was suspended for 80 games and Matt McLain will be out until at least August after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Throw in injuries to TJ Friedl and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, plus a week-long illness for the duo of Jake Fraley and Jonathan India, and it's easy to see why this Reds offense has struggled. But the buck stops with Bell, and if he doesn't right the ship, he could be on his way out of Cincinnati by the end of the year.

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