The Cincinnati Reds announced on Thursday afternoon that they would not be bringing back much of their coaching staff. Manager David Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson will be returning.
Among the coaches and staff members who will not be returning to the organization in 2023 are Alan Zinter (hitting coach), Delino DeShields (first base, infield, baserunning coach), Lee Tunnell (bullpen coach), Rolando Valles (assistant coach), and Cristian Perez (advanced scouting coach).
It’s not surprising that some coaches wouldn’t be returning after a 62-100 season. There’s only so much that a coach can do when the organization strips you of half of the big league talent you had and then injuries keep some of the remaining talent off of the field for large parts of the year (Baseball Prospectus’s injury tool estimates that the Reds lost more on-field value to injury than any other team in baseball this year and by a wide margin).
With that said, there are going to be plenty of people surprised that manager David Bell will be returning after his team lost the second most games in the history of the franchise. Of course there were people calling for his job after back-to-back winning seasons, too. Bell was under contract for the 2023 season, and he makes a lot more money than the various coaches, too. So from a financial standpoint not bringing him back would be a lot different than not bringing back much of the coaching staff.
The same thing likely applies to Derek Johnson. He was also under contract for 2023, and he likely makes a lot more money than the other coaches given his role as both the pitching coach and the organization’s director of pitching. There were some tough times in 2022 for the pitching staff, but Johnson also oversaw the rookie years and continued development and improvements as the season went along for Alexis Diaz, Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and until his return from the injured list for the final two weeks of the season – Graham Ashcraft.
The first day of the offseason started out with a bang. The next big thing likely to take place is plenty of releases and players designated for assignment when the playoffs end and the players on the 60-day injured list have to be moved back to the 40-man roster where they will need to create spots for.