MLB News: Indians re-align three coaching positions

The Indians season ended last Wednesday with a 4-0 whimper in the AL Wild Card game against Tampa Bay. Five days later, we have our first piece of Cleveland baseball news of the offseason, according to multiple media reports.

Three members of manager Terry Francona’s coaching staff will see their responsibilities change for the 2014 season. Overall, all six of Francona’s coaches will return. But the realignment news today will likely turn a a few heads.

Brad Mills: Old position = third base coach; new position = bench coach
Sandy Alomar Jr: Old position = bench coach; new position = first base coach
Mike Sarbaugh: Old position = first base coach; new position = third base coach

MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reported (tweet) that the shift was due to a preferred alignment with the three coaches’ skill sets. None of the shifts are considered demotions, despite what one might initially assume about Alomar moving away from the bench coach job.

Notably, Mills (father of former Indians prospect Beau Mills, with whom he owns a young bucking bull) is the only one of the three to have previous long-term MLB managing experience. He coached the Houston Astros from 2010-2012 before being fired last August. Alomar managed the Indians for just six games in interim status last year. Sarbaugh was an up-and-coming managerial prospect after several years in the Indians minor league system.

In other related coaching news, the Chicago Cubs are not currently considering Alomar a candidate for their managerial opening, according to CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan. Former Cleveland skipper Manny Acta is meeting with the team today.

[Related: 2013 Indians In Review: The Starting Rotation]

  • Jason Hurley

    Acta ball in Chicago? What could go wrong?

  • mgbode

    Acta to the Cubs would make everyone a believer in destiny.

  • Wow

    Alomar as a base coach could be huge, considering his experience as a catcher. Either that or I have no idea what I’m talking about.

  • woofersus

    Obviously the feeling is that Alomar, with his experience as a catcher, will be a help to the running game as the 1st base coach. It also makes sense to move Mills, who not only has experience as a major league manager, but also a history with Tito, to bench coach. My guess is that Sarbaugh to third base is largely meaningless, and just about facilitating the other two moves.

    I don’t know if this is any kind of indictment on Alomar as a bench coach, but it probably doesn’t matter in the end. If he’s not offered a manager job he’s staying, and it can’t hurt to add another position of experience to the resume.

  • Natedawg86

    So Sandy had a PH RBI single with Mills scoring from 3rd and Sarbaugh moving from 1st to 3rd on the play?

  • Natedawg86

    until they somehow get worse than they already are and he is fired 2 years later, followed by a come out of nowhere playoff team the next year?

  • Jay

    Speaking of Acta, I believe Sandy was the 1B coach when Acta was managing here. Like others, I don’t really understand the move other than he has the ‘catcher perspective’. But, as long as he’s staying with the organization, I’m happy.