will return for his third season at the helm of the Louisville Bats in 2017. He will once again be joined by pitching coach Jeff Fassero, hitting coach Jody Davis and trainer Steve Gober. Joining the staff is bench coach Darryl Brinkley and strength and conditioning coach Cole Durham.
DeShields, 48, will manage the Bats again in 2017 and has a 135-153 career record for Louisville. The Bats finished the 2016 season in second place in the International League West division at 71-73, their best finish in the division since they won the division back in 2010. The 2017 season will be his ninth overall in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization and eighth as a manager. DeShields has also managed at Double-A Pensacola (2013-2014), Class A Dayton (2011-2012) and Rookie Billings (2010). He began his tenure with the Reds as Billings’ hitting coach in 2009.
DeShields was the 12th overall draft pick by the Montreal Expos in the 1987 June draft out of Seaford High School in Seaford, Del. He made his Major League debut in 1990 and went on to play in 1,615 games with the Expos, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles and Cubs through 2002, mostly at second base. He finished his big league career with a .268 batting average and his 463 career stolen bases currently rank him 50th all-time.
Fassero, 54, returns as pitching coach after taking over for Ted Power on July 4 of last season following his promotion to Cincinnati. Fassero spent 16 years in the big leagues with nine different teams going 121-124 with a 4.11 ERA. He spent his longest tenure with the Montreal Expos from 1991-1996. Fassero was previously the roving pitching instructor (2016), and Pensacola pitching coach (2014-2015).
Davis, 60, returns to the Bats after his first season in the Reds organization in 2016. Davis previously spent time in the San Diego Padres’ organization as a hitting coach and in the Chicago Cubs’ system as a manager. Davis enjoyed a 10-year Major League career with the Cubs (1981-1988), where he was an All-Star in 1984 and 1986, and the Atlanta Braves (1988-1990). In 1986, he won a Rawlings Gold Glove and threw out a modern-day record 89 attempted base stealers. He recorded a .245 career average with 127 home runs and 490 RBI.
Brinkley, 48, joins the Bats as the bench coach in 2017 after spending the 2016 season with the Dominican Summer League Reds as their hitting coach. Brinkley has previously spent time as a hitting coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system with the Ogden Raptors in 2015 and as a hitting coach in the summer and winter Mexican leagues. Brinkley enjoyed a 19-year professional playing career all over the globe racking up 1,970 hits and getting as high as Triple-A baseball.
Gober enters his second season in the Reds organization and second as Louisville’s trainer after working with the Washington Nationals since 2002, including the three most recent seasons as assistant athletic trainer on the big league staff. Gober played golf and baseball at Shenandoah University and earned a degree in kinesiology/sports medicine in 1998.
Cole Durham will begin his first season in the Reds organization in 2017 as Louisville strength and conditioning coach. Durham spent the previous four seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates system as strength and conditioning coach at multiple levels.
The Bats open the season on Thursday, April 6 at home against the Columbus Clippers at 7:05 p.m.
The Bats have drawn over 10 million fans since Louisville Slugger Field opened in April, 2000. Tickets for all regular season games are available. The entire 2017 Bats schedule, including updated promotions and special events, can be found at batsbaseball.com. Single-game tickets may be purchased online, by calling 1-855-228-8497 or by visiting the Louisville Slugger Field box office. Full and partial season tickets, along with group outings and suite rentals are available by calling the Bats front office at 502-212-2287.