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. 

If nothing else, the Reds are conducting a much more thorough process this time. 

23 Responses

  1. Aaron Bradley

    Maybe it was his idea to use an “opener” lol… j/k I know that was the manager’s decision… but I liked it as soon as I heard of it… all those times Iglesias appeared in meaningless innings just to get his work in, he could have been used as an opener, it makes a lot of sense to me. Basically I think a bad team like the Reds should use their closer in a swing role between opener and closer… on days with a weak starting pitcher or a guy who has been struggling, let the guy start the game instead of close it out, since in all liklihood he would never get the chance to finish it anyhow,, but as an opener, who knows maybe he keeps it close and the team manages a couple runs, takes some pressure off the starting pitcher who comes in for the next inning. The Rays were scoffed at by Thom when they used that approach and they ended up with 90 wins. Thom should be reminded of that as often as possible, if anyone sees him around lol.

    • Scott C

      it’ll throw third or fourth or whatever onto that.

    • D Ray White

      If Thom’s last name was Smith instead of Brennamen he’d be selling insurance instead of announcing. His style and opinions are dated.

  2. larry

    Baldelli sounds perfect for the job. Young enough to relate to the players, scouted and evaluated players for several years, integrated analytics into his evaluations…let’s sign him before Toronto or someone else grabs him.

  3. Aaron Bradley

    I agree with you guys this is the most intriguing candidate so far… he actually had a really nice career going as a player before getting derailed with injuries.

  4. Aaron Bradley

    I think much like the NFL they have to make an appearance of considering minority candidates… which explains Hatcher and Benavides, but let’s be serious here, we aren’t hiring our 3rd base coach to be the manager, that would be insane… but its a good interview experience for them so it is what it is.

  5. Jeff Reed

    Hiring someone from the Rays could be a good move. They’ve only been around for 20 years and the tough ALE division doesn’t take them for granted. The hiring of an analytics knowledgeable manager could be an indicator that DW is taking charge of the FO.

  6. Aaron Bradley

    Hey I wasn’t really a Yelich guy but so many here were, and it is just so fitting the Brewers of all teams are taking a legit shot! Let’s face it RLN. the Brewers our are team for this post season, we called this long ago.. and now that I think about it I was advocating for Lorenzo Cain in CF… but even bettter Arrietta as ace of staff… but really this team was still in sorting mode, maybe the best thing was to jockey for draft postion. Hopefully next year is the new era.

  7. Aaron Bradley

    Oh BTW another big post season name associated with the Reds is Justin Turner of the Dodgers. Did you know he was a Reds farm hand before we traded him to the Mets for chump change? He can play SS from what I understand lol. Maybe in an alternative universe…

    • IndyRedsFan

      Turner wasn’t traded to the Mets, and wasn’t traded for chump change.

      Traded along with Ryan Freel and another minor leaguer to Baltimore for Ramon Hernandez, who was the Reds starting catcher for several years.

      Turner was a late bloomer. Reds traded him to the Orioles in 2008. They waived him in 2010 and the Mets picked him up then.

      btw…..he’s never played shortstop.

      If you want to complain, that’s fine. But get your facts straight. This stuff is easy to look up.

  8. Aaron Bradley

    We aren’t even close to remotely contending in this division… we need outside the box thinking, not corporate lackeys, thank you very much!

    • MFG

      Agree 100%! We are a long way away from competing for a title. We need to think outside the box when choosing our next manager. There are also some trades to be made. Hopefully Hamilton wins the gold glove so he can finally be traded. Trade Iglasius, Votto to Toronto? We need to move some players while they have value. Our farm system should be loaded because of all our top picks based on our lousy record.

  9. Bryan E

    MLB generally frowns upon team news coming out before/during the WS as to avoid watering down the product on the field. I wouldn’t expect to hear about the Reds hiring someone until after the WS is over even if they know how they want.

  10. big5ed

    I am a fan of Eduardo Perez, as well. He has been working the playoffs for ESPN, so who knows where the Reds are with him, if anywhere. His morning show with Steve Phillips on MLB Sirius XM Radio is superb.

    I also think Baldelli would be an excellent hire. Baldelli grew up in Rhode Island as a Red Sox fan, and was the sixth guy taken in the draft. He was extremely fast, and could be thought of as a Drew Stubbs who could actually hit. Baldelli had been an excellent student in high school, but signed with Tampa Bay, only to have his career derailed by a connective tissue disorder. I don’t think he ever went back to college, but has been a very popular, bright and well-thought-of career baseball guy.

    Like Perez, Baldelli checks a lot of boxes in what the Reds should be looking for.

    • Jeff Reed

      Perez or Baldelli would be a new day for the Reds. We’ll soon know.

  11. Bill j

    My guess on 6 second interviews; Riggleman, Ferrell, Ausmus, Montoyo, Meulens and Baldelli.

  12. cupofcoffee1955

    I still think it’s going to be Farrell, Bob C.’s choice. All the other stuff is just window dressing.

  13. jeffery stroupe

    I like the sound of Rocco, just like say Sparky. When its all you have to go on i suppose run with it.

  14. Scott C

    Something that Big Bob ought to think about is that Sparky was an unknown name when Bob Howsam hired him. If memory serves me right, he did a pretty good job.

    • Jeff Reed

      A lot of talent matured when Sparky took over from Dave Bristol in 1970. The current Reds, minus a couple proven starting pitchers, have talent not to be compared to the BRM, but a young manager with a couple years leeway could get the Reds moving in the right direction. The Reds are in need of new school instead of old school. The Phillies and Braves this year proved that point.

  15. roger garrett

    As usual its pretty hard to see a plan in all of this.One side of me says they are doing their due diligence in casting a wide search while the other side of me says it just something for them to do and have already chose their guy from within.Can’t imagine anybody from within that doesn’t already know the company line along with all the answers they are to give to all of the questions they maybe be asked.This is a wrong choice of course but it sure makes it easier vs. hiring someone who may rock the boat or actually use modern day tools to do his job.Time will tell.