The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly hiring Joe Mather as their new assistant hitting coach according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
If the name sounds familiar to you it’s likely because Joe Mather spent parts of three seasons in the National League Central. From 2008-2012 he played with the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs. He played in 229 games, and played just about every spot on the field with the exception of catcher, shortstop, and second base. He even pitched in two different games.
The now 37-year-old spent 2019 in his first season as the Arizona Diamondbacks as their minor league field and hitting coordinator. But that was his fifth overall season working in player development with Arizona. In the 2015 and 2016 seasons he managed the Missoula Osprey in the Pioneer League – the same league where the Reds affiliate in Billings plays. In 2017 he served as the bench coach for the Arizona Double-A affiliate in Jackson. He returned to the managers role in 2018 with the Visalia Rawhide in the California League.
The role is only open because Donnie Ecker took the job as the San Francisco Giants hitting coach a little more than a week ago. That comes on the heels of the Reds expanding the role in which Ecker had last season. He was going to also be the director of hitting in the organization, helping implement things not only at the Major League level, but in the minor leagues as well to help with the development of players.
It was a rather quick turn around for the Cincinnati Reds. Losing Ecker earlier this month, the team went to work rather quickly to find a replacement and bring Mather into the fold. Spring training starts in 8-and-a-half weeks when pitchers and catchers report on February 13th. Position players will report a few days later on Sunday the 16th. Games will start up shortly after that, with the first contest on the 22nd against Cleveland.