Keeping Jeff Pickler in Cincinnati is essential to the Reds long-term success

Cincinnati Reds Jeff Pickler (61) poses during media day.
Cincinnati Reds Jeff Pickler (61) poses during media day. / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's not often that you think of a game planning coach as being essential to the success of a team, but what Jeff Pickler has brought to the Cincinnati Reds since his arrival in 2019 is invaluable. Pickler was being courted to the New York Mets to fill their vacancy as the team's bench coach.

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reported yesterday that Pickler removed his name from consideration to be the Mets bench coach next season. Pickler is currently the game planning and outfield coach for the Reds.

Jeff Pickler will return to the Reds coaching staff in 2022.

It's good to be wanted, isn't it? Since David Bell's arrival to the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, several members of his staff have been desirable candidates to fill vacancies throughout Major League Baseball.

Assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker was hired by the San Francisco Giants in 2020 to become the team's hitting coach. At the time, Ecker was considered to be one of the up-and-coming young minds in the game.

In addition to losing Ecker, the Reds also lost their assistant pitching coach and director of pitching following the abbreviated 2020 season. Caleb Cotham signed on to be the Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach after two successful years as part of Bell's staff in Cincinnati.

Jeff Pickler, 46, who was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1998, graduated from the University of the Tennessee and was an 11th-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1998 MLB Draft. Pickler spent eight years playing in the minor leagues for three different organizations before hanging up his cleats.

After his playing career was over, Pickler spent time as a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres before landing a front office gig with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. He later joined the Minnesota Twins coaching staff in 2017 before coming to Cincinnati in 2019.

Continuity among the coaching staff is extremely important for the long-term success of a franchise. With Cincinnati's emphasis on analytics over the last few seasons, it's crucial for the Reds to hang on to good, young coaches like Jeff Pickler.

Losing Cotham last offseason was a blow to the Cincinnati coaching staff. Eric Jagers was promoted to fill Cotham's vacancy and pitching coach Derek Johnson was promoted to the role of director of pitching as well.

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Pickler, like Cotham last winter, is a hot name among teams looking to boost their coaching staff. The Reds need evaluate their staff and be sure that the coaches who are vital to the team's long-term success remain with the organization for the foreseeable future.