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.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.