CINCINNATI -- Longtime organizational man Mack Jenkins had never heard of the job of assistant pitching coach in the big leagues before, certainly not on the Reds. But when the role was offered, he was more than happy to accept.
"I'm excited to be a pioneer in the position," Jenkins said on Friday after his promotion was announced.
Now part of manager Dusty Baker's coaching staff, Jenkins will work under pitching coach Bryan Price. He has yet to find out if he will be permitted to be in the dugout and in uniform during games. There are limits to how many coaches are allowed on the bench. A few teams around the league have assistant hitting coaches, who are not permitted to be in uniform during games.
"I was told the position would evolve, it's never been done here before," Jenkins said. "I talked to Bryan about some ideas like helping prepare for series and freeing him up from the tedious stuff so he can get a rapport with the new guys. I'll be the tedious guy."
Jenkins, 46, is entering his 23rd year in the Reds organization and he spent the previous six serving as the Minor League pitching coordinator. Before that, he spent the other 16 seasons as a pitching coach at multiple levels of the farm system, including Triple-A Louisville from 2002-05.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty first contacted Jenkins about the position in November.
"Walt said they had been kicking it around and it finally got approval," Jenkins said by phone from Florida. "I was the guy Walt and Bryan wanted. It feels pretty good to have the opportunity. I'm honored they asked me."
The Reds also announced on Friday that eight players were signed to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training as non-roster players.
They are right-handed pitchers Sean Gallagher, Chad Reineke, and Kanekoa Texeira, left-handed pitchers Jeremy Horst and Clayton Tanner, catchers Brian Esposito and Corky Miller and outfielder Daryl Jones.
Reineke, Horst and Miller were all with the organization the past couple of seasons.
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.