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.

33 Responses

    • TR

      Teaching at age 37 after a four year unspectacular ML career seems like a good way to go.

  1. Ed

    Thanks for the article!

    I’d be curious to see some sort of projected power rankings in the NL Central as it stands. A lot can happen in 8 weeks, but it’s interesting to see how some teams, the Brewers especially, have been really active the last few days. Some of that is due to necessity- they lost a ton of players to free agency. Similarly, I suspect the Cubs lineup is going to shake up some over the next few weeks…

    Can’t help but feel like the Reds still need to add a couple capable hitters in the next couple weeks if they’re really going to compete.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It is very interesting to see the names the Brewers have signed and are reportedly targeting are all definitely in the middle to low tier of free agents.

  2. G-Man

    Nice one! That reminded me of my favorite Eddie Haskell quote:

    “Wally, if your dumb brother tags along, I’m gonna – oh, good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver. I was just telling Wallace how pleasant it would be for Theodore to accompany us to the movies.”

  3. JinCHill

    I just read that the Phillies were the only team to make Didi an offer? No wonder he signed for only 1 year/14Million. So did the Reds even talk to him? The black hole at SS could have been filled for $15 million/year?

    • DrunkenViking

      Shows how much the so called experts know. Many had him coming to Cincinnati and we didn’t even offer him a contract.

      • Blair Labig

        What is the reason we dont sign Igelasis?

  4. Jg

    Corey seagar fits the bill on 2 of 3 of those. Get involved in a 3 team trade with the Indians

    • Optimist

      It’s down to 2 on 2 of those. Or, a good LH bat elsewhere and we leave the SS in the 8th spot of the lineup. Really just 1 1/2 moves away now.

  5. thssks

    Did anyone else catch the Didi interview today? Did I hear him right that he was not even offered a multi year deal, only one year deals?

    • DrunkenViking

      What Jin said. It was his ONLY offer.

  6. Ed

    Look- It is sad to see MLB Trade Rumors Q&A/Chats where the moderator says he doesn’t see any off-season moves moving the needle to get the Reds to the playoffs. I would love to be wrong, but I think most of us are saying this exact same thing. Either something happens in the next few weeks- or this ship has sailed. Such a bummer! I’d love to see ’em win, but what are we left with? All in, 2021? C’mon.

  7. Still a Red

    Hmmm…sounds like the effort to create an organization-wide hitting philosophy has fallen apart.

  8. Ed

    Crazy. Would Alex Wood have been a better choice?

    • Optimist

      No we’re talking.

      Sign him too. Pillow for a year, cheaper than Miley, $$$ for one more bat, or a trade. Cannot have too much pitching.

      Finally a roster full of MLB talent, or 2nd year players. Enough of the AAAA bench warmers.

    • Colorado Red

      He was 14 -6 last year, with a 3.98 (more or less) ERA.
      If he repeats that, it is a steal.

  9. FreeHouse

    I’m not hating that move, he’s pitched well the last few years and now we have depth. Not bad for a 5th starter.

    • Optimist

      Very good move – sign Wood, and they have three 5th starters, and four good to great prospects above the rookie level. Not deep playoff talent, but could over achieve in a weak division this year.

    • gregmlb

      Can’t believe how long it’s taking for them to put up a story on the site.

      • Cubano

        Haha- the free site we are all looking at late on Sunday night ?? That has new content at least a few times a day?

    • FreeHouse

      Castellanos would be a nice Christmas present.

  10. AllTheHype

    At Mil with Johnson, decreased use of slider from 32% to 9% and increased cutter from 12% to 42%. ERA was 2.57 with Brewers. This should be a good partnership in Cincy. Miley has clearly found something under Jonhson.

  11. AllTheHype

    Agree. I want Castellanos too. That would be a nice off season without giving up prospects.

  12. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I believe I like the Miley addition. A decent pitcher. Not too late in his career. Reuniting with a coach that helped him, not too much of a cost, a left hander, with a good GB ratio. I believe this sets our starting rotation very well.

    Also, I will state, with Boddy in the minors, we aren’t going to see anything meaningful out of that for probably 2-3 years. But, given what we have at with the big team right now, with what we can possibly get till then, we probably won’t need much from Boddy for 2-3 years.

    We still need one more bat and need to fill out our bullpen. Though, I’ve always felt the bullpen is more of a gamble if anything, unless you radically overpay for that.

  13. Mark

    I completely agree on castellanos we need him for LF. Can you imagine how many home runs and doubles he would hit with 81 games at GABP! ? !

  14. RedNat

    Does this mean Mahle will move to the bullpen. I always thought he had the tenacity to be a closer

  15. MBS

    I like the Miley signing! The Reds haven’t even made it to the 2019 payroll, much less go over it with a “nice increase”. I am excited to see what other moves they are going to make. I figure they got about 30 M more to go, if they hit the high end of their budget.

  16. Steve Schoenbaechler

    As for “next moves”, I still like Shogo from the Japanese league. We need OBP, and he definitely has that, and can play CF. That would allow Senzel to move back to the IF, possibly SS.

    Castellanos has more power but not the OBP and is a defensive liability. As well as, I’m not worried about power, seriously. I mean, from what I remember hearing the numbers were something like, last year, we hit 51 more HR’s than the year before, but only scored 1 more run. How can that be? Because we didn’t have people on base. We need to get people on base.

    • Ed

      Alright- I’m basically thinking Puig’s upside- speed, defense, and OBP- absolutely make him more valuable than Castellanos. Am I nuts? Puig seems to be a better player, and probably cheaper too. I’m all about getting both of them, but I guess I struggle with the idea that Castellanos is the best available. He has buzz because he was able to mash for the Cubs, and like Puig, he makes some silly sound bites. But is he really the better ball player?

    • Steve Schoenbaechler


      I do understand your discussion on Castellanos. I never said he wasn’t a bad hitter or had a bad OBP. But, Shogo’s OBP was never under 356 since 2014, topping 400 twice. Shogo would have the advantage in OBP and defensive ability, as well as possibly/probably cost. I believe Shogo may be cheaper.