Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson received a promotion last week, replacing the departed Kyle Boddy as the director of pitching, . Will DJ eventually leave the dugout?
This season, Johnson will have dual roles. Not only will the the 50-year-old operate as the director of pitching, but he'll also maintain his role as the Reds pitching coach. I'm not sure how sustainable that really is.
Will Derek Johnson eventually leave the Reds dugout?
In addition to the additional job duties, Derek Johnson received a contract extension. For how long, we weren't told.
You'd have to assume that it will at least mimic the contract extension that manager David Bell signed earlier this year which will keep the Reds skipper in Cincinnati through the 2023 season.
Johnson came to Cincinnati by way of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019 when Bell was assembling his coaching staff. Johnson has been a consistent voice in dugout since his arrival and has been credited with helping turn around the Reds pitching staff.
While Derek Johnson has helped resurrect the career of Sonny Gray and has been instrumental in the development of players like Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, one has to wonder how much longer DJ will stay in dugout.
This new role will afford Johnson the ability to instill his pitching principles into the organization from top to bottom. From Low-A to the major leagues.
Who might take over for Derek Johnson as the Reds pitching coach?
For this season, at least, look for Derek Johnson to maintain the role of Reds pitching coach. However, I'm not sure that's going to be part of his long-term future.
If DJ were to leave the dugout, who might replace him? Two names come to mind; Bryan Conger and Eric Jagers.
Conger has already been retained as Cincinnati's pitching coordinator and will be key in helping fulfill Johnson's vision for the organization's developing pitchers.
Jagers is currently the Reds assistant pitching coach. At just 26 years old, Jagers is one of the youngest coaches on any major league staff in Major League Baseball.
Jagers suffered through a few injury-plagued seasons as a professional and turned his attention to coaching. He's one of the bright young minds in the game today.
Whether it's after the 2022 season or a few years later, I'd wager that Derek Johnson's long-term future will be in the player development department, not the dugout.