St. Louis Cardinals Promote David Bell to Bench Coach Role


After serving in the assistant hitting coach role for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2014, David Bell will have bigger responsibilities in 2015, as it was announced on Monday that he will become the team’s new bench coach. Bell fills the role vacated by Mike Aldrete last week when he decided to accept the same position with the Oakland Athletics.

It was slightly surprising to see Bell, who had only been on the staff for one year, get the position. First base coach Chris Maloney, who had an extensive track record as a manager in the Cardinals’ system, and third base coach Jose Oquendo, who has long been considered a future managerial candidate, were expected to get consideration for the job.

The 42-year-old Bell played for the Cardinals from 1995 to 1998 in the midst of a 12-year big-league career that also saw him spend time with the Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Milwaukee Brewers. He’s been in the coaching ranks since 2009, and interestingly he’s done all of his coaching work with NL Central teams. He made his debut managing for the Carolina Mudcats, the Cincinnati Reds’ Double-A affiliate, from 2009 to 2011. He was promoted to the same role with their Triple-A team, the Louisville Bats, for the 2012 season.

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Bell broke into the big-league coaching ranks in 2013, serving as the third base coach on Dale Sveum‘s staff with the Chicago Cubs. After Sveum was fired by the Cubs and Cardinals assistant hitting coach Bengie Molina departed to join the Texas Rangers’ coaching staff, Bell found his spot on the Cardinals’ staff.

Interestingly, the Cards have now will have had five different assistant hitting coaches in five seasons, with each of the four previous coaches to fill the position having ascended to bigger roles. Aldrete served in the role from 2008-2011, making it a crucial position on the staff as he focused on lefthanded hitters while the main hitting coach, Mark McGwire, handled the righties.

After Aldrete was promoted to the role of bench coach on Mike Matheny‘s staff in 2012, Matheny’s former teammate, John Mabry, assumed the assistant hitting coach role. When McGwire decided to join the Los Angeles Dodgers staff following that season, Mabry ascended to the head role and Molina replaced him. Molina was then replaced by Bell, who will now need to be replaced for 2015.