The Arizona League Reds coaching staff has been named for the 2018 season. The team based in Goodyear out of the spring training facility of the Cincinnati Reds will be led once again by manager Jose Nieves. This will be his 10th season in the organization. Nieves will be entering his 5th season as manager of the AZL Reds. He previously managed the now defunct Venezuelan Summer League Reds and Dayton Dragons. The 42-year-old manager spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues from 1998-2002 with the Chicago Cubs and Anaheim Angels.

Elmer Dessens will return as the pitching coach. This will be the sixth consecutive season in which he has served in the role for the Reds. The Mexico native spent parts of 14 years in the Major Leagues between 1996-2010. He spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen throughout his career, throwing 1174.1 innings. Three of his seasons came with the Reds, from 2000-2002 where he was an above-average pitcher who threw 530.1 innings.

Also returning to the AZL coaching staff is Todd Takayoshi. Last year he served as the hitting coach, after serving in the previous season in the same role with the Billings Mustangs. Before joining the Reds organization he was the assistant hitting coach for the Dodgers. He also worked in various roles with the Angels organization prior to that.

The fourth coach on the staff will be taking his first role in coaching and is former Reds Major and Minor Leaguer Donald Lutz. He is currently playing in the Australian Baseball League, where he’s spent many offseasons playing winter baseball. He is making it count, too, where he’s hitting .300/.412/.760 with a league best 13 home runs for Brisbane. Lutz was the first German-raised player to reach the Major Leagues when he made his debut in 2013. He would spend parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues, both with the Reds. From 2008-2016 he played in the minors with the organization. In 2017 he spent a small amount of time playing in the Mexican League.

3 Responses

  1. Krozley

    How does extended Spring Training work in regards to coaching? Do the players get slotted to Billings and AZL and are coached separately at the complex, or do they all just work together? If the latter, who is in charge? Adding Greeneville may confuse things as well as since there are probably not enough players at that time to field three teams (and only two fields for the Reds once ST is over). Just curious.