Bell joins D-backs' Double-A coaching staff
Former Arizona infielder named new hitting coach for Mobile
PHOENIX -- Jay Bell is returning to the Arizona Diamondbacks as the team's Double-A Mobile hitting coach.
Bell, who played for the D-backs from 1998-2002 and scored the winning run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, served as the team's bench coach in '05 and '06 before stepping away from the game on a full-time basis to spend more time with his family.
"Five years away from the game has been wonderful from the standpoint of the time I've gotten to spend with my family," Bell said. "I needed to step back and give them some time. I'm excited to be back now in an official capacity."
Even while stepping away in an official capacity, Bell has remained a part of the organization. He has been a frequent visitor to Spring Training and worked with the club's Minor League infielders.
This past summer, he helped out former teammate Andy Green, who managed the D-backs' Arizona Rookie League team.
Bell, who hit .265 with 195 homers and 860 RBIs over 18 big league seasons, would like to manage someday and looked into some Minor League managing possibilities over the winter. When the opportunity presented itself to work with Mobile manager Turner Ward, who Bell has known for 20-plus years and pitching coach Dan Carlson, who he's known for 12 years, he jumped at it.
Bell is, in some ways, the original D-back, as the organization signed him to a five-year contract just prior to the 1997 Expansion Draft. He had arguably the best season of his career in '99, when he smacked 38 homers and drove in 112 runs as the D-backs won 100 games and the National League West title.
Another familiar face will join the Minor League coaching ranks. Former catcher Robby Hammock, who saw brief action for the club last September, will serve as hitting coach for the organization's entry in the Arizona Rookie League.
Hammock was behind the plate for Randy Johnson's perfect game on May 18, 2004.
In addition to Bell and Hammock, the D-backs announced that Jeff Pico, who was the pitching coordinator for the last two seasons, will become the Minor League field coordinator, while Mel Stottlemyre Jr. returns to the role of pitching coordinator, a position he held from 2007-09 until being promoted to the big leagues.
Here's a look at the staffs at each level:
Triple-A Reno: Brett Butler (manager), Rick Burleson (hitting coach), Mike Parrott (pitching coach).
Double-A Mobile: Ward (manager), Bell (hitting coach), Carlson (pitching coach).
Class A Visalia: Jason Hardtke (manager), Jacob Cruz (hitting coach), Doug Drabek (pitching coach).
Class A South Bend: Mark Haley (manager), Bobby Smith (hitting coach), Wellington Cepeda (pitching coach).
Class A Yakima (short-season): Audo Vicente (manager), Jason Camilli (hitting coach), Doug Bochtler (pitching coach).
Missoula (Rookie Advanced): Green (manager), J.R. House (hitting coach), Gil Heredia (pitching coach).
Arizona League Diamondbacks (Rookie): Hector de la Cruz (manager), Hammock (hitting coach), Jeff Bajenaru (pitching coach).
Dominican Summer League: Juan Ballara (manager), Tony Mota (hitting coach), Jose Tapia (pitching coach).
Hitting coordinator: Alan Cockrell
Infield coordinator: Tony Perezchica
Outfield/baserunning coordinator: Joel Youngblood
Catching coordinator: Bill Plummer