2014 Reds

Report: Reds to hire Jay Bell as Bench Coach

The Reds have begun to fill out their coaching staff. Ken Rosenthal first reported last night that Jay Bell (47) has been hired as Bryan Price’s bench coach. An official with the Pirates has confirmed the report. Bell was serving as the hitting coach for Pittsburgh. He would replace veteran Chris Speier as the Reds’ Bench Coach.

Player Bio: Jay Bell played major league baseball for 18 seasons (1986-2003), with five teams. His primary position was shortstop but by the end of his career he had played every position in the infield, including more than 400 games at second base. He was a two-time All Star and won a Gold Glove at short stop in 1993. Bell scored the winning run for the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series.

Coaching Bio: Bell was the Bench Coach for Bob Melvin in Arizona for two seasons (2005-06) and then served as the D-Backs “Advisor for Spring Training” in 2007-09. The one year he overlapped with Bryan Price in Arizona was 2007. Last season, he was the hitting coach for the Pirates.

There isn’t much written about Bell’s style or philosophy as a coach. He’s variously described by baseball bloggers as smart young baseball guy and low key. Deadspin published a lengthy interview with him a year ago. It’s interesting that he worked for a division rival last season – maybe he can offer insight into how to pitch to Neil Walker and hit off of Charlie Morton.

30 thoughts on “Report: Reds to hire Jay Bell as Bench Coach

  1. It seems that “low key” is the preferred persona in the dugout for next year. However, who knows, maybe they will hire Ozzie Guillen as hitting coach.

  2. This doesn’t thrill me. It also doesn’t upset me.

    Maybe he can give Votto some of those PEDS he took in the late 90’s was my first thought, though.

    • @kramer1: Heh, right. Reading the Deadspin article he completely brushes that stuff under the rug. I mean, seriously, he said Gonzo got thrown under the bus by the media?!?

      I see the old boys club is alive and well. *facepalm*

        • @Jared Wynne: That is really sad and I’m not really sure why you said that, but I’m embarrassed admit it’s the best laugh I’ve had all day.

        • @TC: Barry Larkin is my favorite player of all time. He’s the reason I’m a Reds fan. And, unfortunately, you don’t have to think too far outside the box to draw the lines that CP is drawing. And it kills me ha ha ha

      • @CP: Are you really trying to imply that Barry Larkin was using steroids in the ’90s? That seriously sucks man. What evidence of anything do you have? What was odd about his peak?

        Here are Larkin’s bWAR by age:

        Age 30: 3.9
        Age 31: 5.9
        Age 32: 7.2
        Age 33: 3.5
        Age 34: 5.7
        Age 35: 5.1

        After which he promptly declined, never topping 2.6.

        Now Joe Morgan:

        Age 30: 8.6
        Age 31: 11.0
        Age 32: 9.6
        Age 33: 5.8
        Age 34: 1.6
        Age 35: 2.7

        Age 38: 5.1

        So Morgan was also playing at an elite level when he was in his young 30s, and then was able to put up another monster season in his late 30s after declining in his mid 30s, something Larkin never did. So Morgan’s steroids must have been better I guess?

        • @al: WAR is a very strange way to look at it, for obvious reasons.

          I’ll knock down this strawman as well…comparing 2 players’ individual aging curves is completely meaningless. Completely irrelevant.

          Larkin was very, very good. There is no doubt about that. He was my favorite Red of all time. But…

  3. “Smart young baseball guy” is all I really ever needed to hear about a bench coach.

    When I hear “old, dim, snoozy and Zimmer-like,” then I will begin to worry.

  4. Well, we’ll see.

    Hard not to associate Jay Bell with the PED era. Really, that’s all I know about him.

    Perhaps he can bring some of the working class, hard-nosed Pirate attitude.

  5. Marlon Byrd looks to be going to the Phillies. A long-shot LF option off the board. Good to see he won’t be staying in Pittsburgh.

  6. This article from Heyman got me thinking big trade. It says the Blue Jays are looking for SP, 2b, and C.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24223596/blue-jays-focus-first-on-rotation-help-but-keep-an-eye-on-2b-and-cs

    So you could go Bailey, Phillips, Hanigan, for

    Jose Bautista, Mark DeRosa, SP Prospect Sean Nolin, and either another prospect or cash.

    Bautista gives you a middle of the order bat to replace Choo. He’s making $14mil for the next 2 years with a 2016 option. DeRosa is nothing special, but he actually had a higher OPS than Phillips last year, and is really cheap for 2014, giving the Reds time to figure out what to do about 2B in the future. Nolin is 23, pitched at AA and AAA last year, is a big guy, and has top of the rotation stuff.

    It does accelerate Hamilton’s time table, because Bautista can’t play CF. But

    Hamilton CF
    Votto 1b
    Bautista LF
    Bruce RF
    Frazier 3b
    Derosa 2b
    Cozart SS
    Mesoraco C

    that doesn’t look to bad. And Nolin gives you years of team control compared to Bailey’s one.

    • @al: Toronto does sound like a possible trade partner, given their stated needs. Bautista is still a great power hitter but it’s been a couple years since his peak. I don’t think it would take as much as you’re proposing to acquire him. I’d offer Leake instead of Bailey. But I think you’re on a productive track here.

      Remember a couple years ago when there was that rumor that Jocketty was looking to trade Joey Votto for Bautista? That was when we still had Yonder Alonso to play 1B. So that wouldn’t be the move now. But it might show that Jocketty has taken a close look that way before.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Yeah, I could see several different variations on the theme that could work.

        The way the trade I proposed makes sense to me is that Bautista is clearly declining and making money, but so is Phillips. So that’s sort of a reasonable swap, but still, the Reds are obviously getting the better end of it because a) Bautista is better, and b) he’s only under contract for 2 more years rather than 4.

        Hannigan and DeRosa are both older and under contract for one more year. This is pretty close to a decent 1-for-1, but I’d give the Blue Jays the slight edge, because Hanigan is a good catcher, and that’s harder to find than a 2B.

        Then it comes to Bailey for one of their top pitching prospects, who is basically major league ready. I could see either side saying that it’s too much really, which seems fair. On our side, Bailey is an established big leaguer, with two no hitters, who seems to just be getting better, and to give that up for a guy with no big league experience is maybe iffy. From their side, it’s all about team control. Bailey isn’t going to sign long-term in Toronto, so they are trading 6 years of a pitcher for 1 year of a pitcher, and that’s tough to swallow.

        Really, I could see either side liking or walking away from this deal, which is why it generally seems fair.

    • @al:

      Look for this to possibly happen.
      BP, Hanigan, Sean Marshall
      for
      Brett Lawrie (3B), Casey Janssen (RHRP), and OF Anthony Gose.

      Reds take Gose and OF/1B Donald Lutz and send to Houston for 2B of the future Delino DeShields, Jr. who played at A+ in 2013.

      • @WVRedlegs: I am still amazed by Edwin E’s walk (82) to Strike Out (61) with 36 HR’s.

        I might want Edwin back to play LF more than Bautista. The same article said that they would might be interested in trading Edwin or Bautista.

        What a miss we had in getting Rolen. I get it that Edwin wasn’t our 3rd baseman, but how many left fielders have we gone thru since Dunn? Edwin had 7 Stolen bases last year and 13 in 2012 (caught once) and I remember him as a good athlete.

        He has really improved on his decent batting eye

        • @preach: As far as I can tell, E5 is generally safe as a DH. His numbers in Toronto are confusing to me.

          Whatever that means to you.

        • @Johnu1: Yeah, DH or 1b, which we have pretty well covered. I think (pure speculation)EE takes some of his fielding woes into the batters box. Could be why he is performing so well in those two positions. Of course, we do have to remember that he was very, very young when he first broke in with us (22?)and he may have just finally figured something out and matured. Who knows?

  7. I’m a little surprised they didn’t get someone more experienced for bench coach. I like the Price hire, but coupling him with someone who has managed as his bench coach would have made me happier.

  8. From Jim Bowden via Twitter:

    Ned Yost said he & Dayton Moore have talked for hours and hours including the names of Carlos Beltran, Brandon Phillips & Ervin Santana

  9. The Rockies are reported to have taken some phone calls on Dexter Fowler. The interesting aspect of that from the Reds’ standpoint is that Fowler will be a free agent at the end of 2014. If the organization is looking for a short-term fix in CF, Fowler could be affordable. Keep in mind that his offensive stats are inflated by the Coors Effect.

    • @Steve Mancuso: I like Fowler (though I like Brett Gardner more as a one-year rental). I am just concerned about him staying on the field. He seems to be a bit better from the left side, which is a good thing. With a QO after ’14, there is one more solid pick for the Reds as well. However, I do fear what Colorado would want in return.

  10. Nothing any more interesting yet. Even though, most anyone they brought onto the coaching staff, we really wouldn’t be able to judge them until at least halfway through the season anyhow. More later.

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