The Louisville Bats are the third team in the farm system to announce their coaching staff for the upcoming 2021 season. The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts did so nearly a month ago, and the Dayton Dragons did so on Monday.
The Cincinnati Reds Triple-A affiliate will be managed by Pat Kelly. He’ll be joined on the coaching staff by pitching coach Seth Etherton, hitting coach Alex Pelaez, and bench coach Kevin Mahar. Interesting to note that Louisville has a bench coach, while the other two teams have a development coach. It could merely be semantics, but it jumped out to me.
Pat Kelly was set to manage the Louisville Bats in 2020, but as we know now – the season never began. Kelly takes over as manager for the Bats after spending the 2019 season at the Double-A level with Chattanooga as the Lookouts manager. In 2018 he was the manager for the Bats for about two weeks, but when Bryan Price was fired in Cincinnati and Jim Riggleman took over as manager, Kelly joined the Reds staff as their bench coach for the rest of the season. He’s also managed in Pensacola, Bakersfield, Lynchburg, Billings, and with the GCL Reds. As a player he reached the Major Leagues in 1980 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He played minor league baseball in parts of 13 seasons between 1973 and 1987 (did not play in 1984 or 1986).
Bench coach Kevin Mahar was also set for that role in the 2020 season with the Bats before the season was cancelled. He’s been with the Reds for six different seasons (or seven if you include 2020). The previous three years he was the bench coach for the Dayton Dragons. Prior to that h had been the hitting coach for Billings in 2013 and 2014, then as the Daytona Tortugas hitting coach in 2015. As a player he reached the Major Leagues in 2007 with the Texas Rangers. He played in the minor leagues from 2004-2010.
Seth Etherton will take over as the pitching coach for the Bats. In 2020 he was set to be the pitching coach for Double-A Chattanooga. In 2018 and 2019 he was the pitching coach for the Dayton Dragons. The two years prior to that he held the same job for the Billings Mustangs. He also served as a pitching coach for the University of San Francisco before joining the professional baseball ranks. In played in parts of four seasons at the Major League level between 2000 and 2006, including with Cincinnati in 2003.
Alex Pelaez will be moving up as the hitting coach for Louisville. It’s his 14th season in the Reds organization. Prior to his role with the Bats he was the hitting coach in Daytona for four seasons. Prior to that he was the hitting coach with Double-A Pensacola for three seasons. Before that he spent three years as the Dayton Dragons hitting coach. He also held the role with the Billings Mustangs and GCL Reds. As a player he reached the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres in 2002. He played in the minor leagues from 1998-2005 – with his last season as a player coming for the Louisville Bats.