The Indians coaching staff is now set for 2021, manager Terry Francona announced Monday. The majority will be the same as we’ve seen the last couple years, but with Brad Mills stepping away from his role as bench coach the Tribe have tapped DeMarlo Hale as his replacement.
Hale, 59, served as the Red Sox’s bench coach under Terry Francona from 2006 to 2011 and has spent time with the Rangers, Orioles, Blue Jays, and most recently the Braves in his 16-year coaching career.
Brad Mills was among the several coaches and players that opted out of the 2020 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He left the Indians prior to the pandemic, during the first spring training, to be with his family following the death of his grandson. He later opted out of the shortened season prior to Opening Day in July. In October, the Indians announced that Mills would not be returning as a coach for the Tribe, but will remain within the organization in some capacity.
This will be the first year Terry Francona has managed without Mills as his bench coach since Mills’ brief string with the Astros from 2010 through 2012.
The rest of the Indians coaching staff will remain as it was entering the first spring training of 2020. Sandy Alomar Jr. will shift back to first base coach after covering for the Tito last season, and Mike Sarbaugh will return to third base. Pitching coach Carl Willis, assistant pitching coach Ruben Niebla, and bullpen coach Brian Sweeney will all return, and hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo will rejoin the team after opting out due to COVID-19.