Reds make some changes to Minors staffs

Reds make some changes to Minors staffs

CINCINNATI -- There will be some changes at the upper levels of the Reds' Minor League system.

David Bell was named the new manager at Triple-A Louisville after three seasons of being skipper of the organization's former Double-A affiliate at Carolina. Bell replaced Rick Sweet, who is moving to a newly created position as the Reds' Minor League catching coordinator.

Sweet had been the Louisville manager since 2004, and his teams won three straight division titles from 2008-10. He was a Major League catcher in the 1970s and '80s with the Padres, Mets and Mariners.

"It was important to add that position," said Reds scouting and player development director Bill Bavasi. "We have pretty good catching in our Minor Leagues. We want to make sure we develop these guys to the greatest extent possible. Better catching means better pitching for us.

"We have a pretty good group of pitchers at the lower levels, and we want to develop them as thoroughly as possible. Having good solid catching is a good step in that direction."

Bell had never managed or coached at any level when he was tapped to helm Carolina in 2009. He had a 176-239 record in three seasons at Double-A, but was credited with doing a good job developing his players, including outfielder Denis Phipps, who was recently added to the 40-man big league roster.

"He's done a terrific job," Bavasi said. "You don't just judge those guys with wins and losses attached to their record."

Bell, 39, played parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues from 1995-2006 with the Indians, Cardinals, Mariners, Giants, Phillies and Brewers. A Cincinnati native and graduate of Moeller High School, his name resonates as part of a three-generation Major League family that includes his grandfather, Reds great Gus Bell, and father, former Reds third baseman Buddy Bell.

Ted Power will remain Louisville's pitching coach and is back for a seventh season. Ryan Jackson is moving up to become the new hitting coach at Louisville, but is entering his sixth season with the organization. Jackson was the hitting coach with Bell in Carolina the past three seasons.

At rookie level Billings, Pat Kelly is returning for his second season as manager of the Pioneer League team. Tony Fossas, who had been the pitching coach at Class A Dayton the past three seasons, will be the new Billings pitching coach to replace the late Bob Forsch, who died earlier this month. Ray Martinez will be the new Billings hitting coach.

Bavasi said that the Reds are letting their affiliates announce their coaching staffs and revealed no other Minor League moves.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.