CINCINNATI -- A new manager and coaching staff for the Reds also means some new ideas. Manager David Bell and his coaches have been busy formulating how they want to conduct business for the 2019 season, starting with how Spring Training will be run."One thing about being so busy during
CINCINNATI -- A new manager and coaching staff for the Reds also means some new ideas. Manager David Bell and his coaches have been busy formulating how they want to conduct business for the 2019 season, starting with how Spring Training will be run.
"One thing about being so busy during the offseason is it's kind of sneaking up on me a little bit," Bell said recently. "You're preparing so many different ways. There's so much to accomplish. In some ways, baseball has been the last thing that I've thought about, but that's OK. That part hopefully will come a little more natural. Definitely you're starting to think about personnel and more details about Spring Training and how it's going to come together."
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Since Bell was hired in October, he and the front office have assembled an 11-man coaching staff, with only Freddie Benavides back from the previous group. Benavides, the former first-base coach under Bryan Price and Jim Riggleman, will be Bell's bench coach.
A first-time manager in the Major Leagues and a Cincinnati native, Bell moved back to his hometown full-time after the holidays and has kept an office both in the clubhouse and upstairs with the club executives as the team has made deals to upgrade the rotation and other additions. Besides being in on talks and other team offseason business, he's in constant contact with his coaches.
"Our coaching staff and I talk every single day at this point," Bell said. "There's planning going on for Spring Training. Even in those conversations, it's more detail about positions, coverage we have at positions during Spring Training. So, it's happening now. You can definitely see it right around the corner."
Reds pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training in Goodyear, Ariz., on Feb. 12, with the first workout set for the following day.
How exactly Spring Training will be run will become apparent once players arrive at camp and Bell holds his first team meeting. One difference that will be immediately noticed is the later start time for workouts.
Many players and coaches often showed up to Cincinnati's spring complex before sunrise to prepare on their own ahead of the usual workouts that usually began around 9:30 a.m. Bell doesn't want the clubhouse opened too early and is planning later start time for workouts, so players can stay rested.
"It's not too much later," Bell said. "If you can shift it just 30 minutes or an hour, then guys get an extra hour of sleep. We all know how important sleep is. It's not going to cut down on our work. Actually, it will help us be very focused on doing the same amount of work, if not more, in a shorter period of time. The idea isn't to get finished early. It's to start a little bit later, give guys more rest. We're trying to think of everything."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.