The Reds interviewed Tampa Bay Rays coach Rocco Baldelli (37) this week, according to sources from the team. Baldelli’s major league career as a player spanned eight seasons, 2003-10, mostly as a centerfielder for the Rays. He has worked in the Rays organization since retiring, including three years as the first base coach and last year as the Field Coordinator. Baldelli has been linked to managerial searches by the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays.
Baldelli’s assignment as Field Coordinator with the Rays in 2018 was a new, innovative position for the Rays coaching staff. It sounds like a valuable experience for a future major league manager.
“There’s no set-in-stone manual for Baldelli to follow, which understandably falls directly in line with the unique position the Rays elected to create. From Baldelli’s understanding, he’s been handed a creative license that will empower him to place the ideas coming from the Tampa Bay coaching staff into action. He also expects to serve as a valuable liaison between the coaches and players.” [Brendan McGair]
Baldelli spent several years in the Rays scouting department before joining the dugout staff. That’s where he became familiar with and began to appreciate all the new data available to baseball managers.
“How much of your work over the past four years was focused on scouting and/or data analytics?
One of my favorite things about my former role was being able to observe and take part in all areas of what we do in Baseball Operations. At the onset, there was no specific, intended direction for me. It grew into a lot of player evaluation. Amateur scouting took up a big block of my year, along with some pro scouting and occasionally some International work. I’d also try to see our own system as much as possible. Getting out and seeing the players, along with the respective player discussions, did take up the majority of my time. It took some time for me to acquaint myself with the data/analytics that we use, but the more I understood the more I began to appreciate the importance of having it. And now, I feel more than comfortable enough with it to integrate it into my opinion and decisions. I like possessing information that I believe gives us a competitive advantage, and we’ll continue to work hard to get that information.” [Daniel Russell]
Baldelli makes a total of twelve candidates the Reds have interviewed, at least ones we know about.
Look for a second round of interviews this week.
From what I’ve heard, I expect the coming week to be the second round with a smaller candidate pool
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) October 14, 2018
If nothing else, the Reds are conducting a much more thorough process this time.
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.