Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell leaves to take the Reds bench coach job


Jay Bell spent the past season as the Pirates hitting coach. He’s moving down the Ohio River now, however. He’s been named the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds, where he’ll be new manager Bryan Price’s right-hand man. The Pirates confirmed the move this morning.

As far as stepping-stones go it’s better to be a bench coach than a hitting coach. Especially considering no one has ever been able to demonstrate how one can judge who a good hitting coach is and who a bad one is. Well, except for maybe Larry Parrish, who was awful.

Michael Conforto unlikely to be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters today that it was “unlikely” that Michael Conforto will make the opening roster.

Not shocking given the shoulder surgery he had back in September, but given that he seems to be recovering more quickly than first anticipated, it was worth Alderson’s time to make the announcement. Indeed, back in December it was not expected that he’d see much if any game action at all during spring training, but here he is, playing DH today in the Mets game against the Cardinals.

Conforto missed the last six weeks of the 2017 season with a left shoulder injury and underwent surgery in early September to repair a tear of the posterior capsule in his shoulder. He finished the season batting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 440 plate appearances. By the looks of things, he should be back some time in April.