The Reds made some serious moves among their coaching staff yesterday. The Reds fired pitching coach Jeff Pico and bench coach Jay Bell. They shuffled some other coaches around, and brought in a new pitching coach and first base coach. Here is the new coaching staff:
Pitching coach: Mark Riggins
- He was the Reds minor league pitching coordinator for the last four seasons.
- Riggins was the Cardinals pitching coach for just one season in strike-shortened 1995 (Cardinals went 62-81 in the 1995, but was 7th in the MLB with a team 4.09 ERA). The Cardinals fired Joe Torre during the 1995 season, and hired Tony La Russa for 1996. La Russa brought in Dave Duncan who was his pitching coach when he was with the A’s.
- Riggins remained in the Cardinals organization in 1996, and was their minor league pitching coordinator from 1996-2007. He then moved on to the Cubs and was their minor league pitching coordinator from 2008-2010.
- He was hired as the Cubs pitching coach in 2010. The Cubs had a team ERA of 4.18, which was 22nd in the MLB. Lou Piniella retired during the season in 2010, and Riggins didn’t return to the Cubs in 2011.
- Riggins pitched in 183 games in the minors, but never made it to the big leagues.
Bench coach: Jim Riggleman
- He was the Reds third base coach in 2015
- Riggleman was the Padres manager from 1992-1994, Cubs manager from 1995-1999, and the Nationals manager from 2009-2011.
- Riggleman managed the Reds AA team in 2013, and the Reds AAA team in 2014.
First Base coach: Freddie Benavides
- He was the Reds infielder coordinator from 2014-2015.
- Benavides was drafted by the Reds in the second round in 1987.
- He played in 219 games in the majors, including 98 with the Reds between 1991-1992.
- He will continue to coach the Reds infielders
Third Base coach: Billy Hatcher
- Hatcher moves from first base coach to third base coach.
- He was the Reds first base coach last season, and has been a coach with the Reds for the last ten seasons.
- Hatcher will continue to work with the Reds outfielders.
Mack Jenkins (bullpen and assistant pitching coach), Don Long (hitting coach), Mike Stefanski (catching coordinator), and Dustin Hughes (bullpen catcher).
In addition to the firing of Jeff Pico and Jay Bell, the Reds also let assistant hitting coach Lee Tinsley go. C. Trent Rosecrans pointed out yesterday that Tinsley was arrested for driving while impaired in June of 2015. Tony Jaramillo will replace Tinsley as the Reds assistant hitting coach in 2016. Jaramillo was the Louisville Bats hitting coach the last three seasons.
Jay Bell told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the decision to not return in his role to the Reds was “both mutual and amicable.” He also said “I want to manage (again). This does not rule out maintaining a relationship with the Reds.”
Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.