After just one season as the hitting coach of the Cincinnati Reds, Turner Ward and the club parted ways earlier this fall. It seemed that despite his extensive experience and connection to the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers run this decade, he, manager David Bell, and the players simply had different philosophies on things, and after a year of middling offensive results on the field, that was enough to part ways.
Today, the Reds and Bell found Ward’s replacement, as it was announced that veteran hitting coach Alan Zinter will get the job.
The #Reds today announced the hiring of Alan Zinter as Hitting Coach for the Major League team and the promotion of Donnie Ecker to Assistant Hitting Coach and Director of Hitting. pic.twitter.com/cCFz8r96Sc— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) October 24, 2019
Zinter, as the press release reveals, comes from the San Francisco Giants organization, the same place where the Reds technically found Bell. Bell and Zinter have worked together and known one another for years, too, so this is hardly a surprise of a hire, I suppose. But while Ward came from a Dodgers club that had knocked the cover off the ball for years, Zinter comes to the Reds on the heels of a handful of years with the Giants and San Diego Padres, who haven’t exactly mashed the way you’d hope the Reds will beginning in 2020.
Of course, that’s got every bit as much to do with player personnel as it does hitting philosophy, and hopefully the Reds find a way to give Zinter a lot more to work with.
Also of note is Donnie Ecker getting a promotion, which seems well deserved after how well the Louisville Bats offense took off in 2019. Yes, the AAA International League began using the big league ball for the first time and overall homer numbers took completely off league-wide, but the swing changes and advances made by the likes of Aristides Aquino, Josh VanMeter, Brian O’Grady, and Co. all certainly had ties to Ecker, and it’s nice to see him be rewarded for such a solid contribution in his early Reds coaching career.
Welcome to the fold, Mr. Zinter.