The Cincinnati Reds have announced the coaching staff for the 2021 Chattanooga Lookouts. The Lookouts will be remaining as the Reds Double-A affiliate. Their manager will be Ricky Gutierrez, who has spent the previous two seasons as the manager at Advanced-A Daytona (The Tortugas will now be the Low-A affiliate of the Reds moving forward). The former Major Leaguer spent 12 seasons in the bigs before retiring. With Daytona he took the team to the Florida State League championship series in 2018 but lost in the finals.
For Ricky Gutierrez, the second time might be a charm. He was scheduled to be the Lookouts manager in 2020, but unfortunately the season did not take place after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the Minor League Baseball season. Lenny Harris, also expected to be on the Chattanooga coaching staff in 2020, is coming back. Harris is now the development coach with the team after being set to have been the bench coach (these positions seem to be the same, but perhaps with different names and a slightly different role?), a role he has served in during previous seasons with the Arizona League Reds, Daytona Tortugas, and Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
The pitching coach isn’t much of a surprise given that we heard about this one a while ago. Now former Cincinnati Reds minor league pitcher, and former big league pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers, Rob Wooten will be taking over as the pitching coach. Wooten pitched for the Lookouts in 2019, making six starts for Chattanooga before moving up to Louisville before an injury cut his season short and ultimately led to his retirement. This will be his first job as a coach in professional sports.
Rounding out the coaching staff will be hitting coach Todd Takayoshi. He’s been with the organization for the past six seasons. He was the Billings Mustangs hitting coach in 2016, and then served in that same role with the Arizona League Reds from 2017-2019. Before joining the Reds organization he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers where he served as their assistant hitting coordinator. Prior to that he was a coach in the Los Angeles Angels organization.
There’s also a “new” role on each coaching staff. For Chattanooga, the role of game planning coach goes to Kyle Arnsberg. This is his second year in the organization. Last year he was set to be in Louisville as the video technology assistant, but without a season taking place he was in Mason at Prasco Park helping with the operations at the Reds alternate site.
MLB sends out the 120 MiLB PDL’s
Major League Baseball has sent out 120 Player Development Licenses to the 120 teams that were initially offered an opportunity to remain affiliated with Major League Baseball. Baseball America’s got the entire story (subscription required for the full story), but the teams extended the licenses have until February 10th to sign the agreement.
While there was plenty of initial skepticism among team owners about how things had played out and how some of the things in the deals that were expected to be there were going to be a bit of a hurdle, it’s unexpected that any team doesn’t sign up. Speaking with those inside the Minor League Baseball industry the idea is that even if there are owners who can’t really afford all of the stuff in the long run that they may need to change to keep their license, they will still sign on and then look to simply sell their franchise rather than not sign and try to make a go of things on their own – which could cost them millions of dollars in the short term.