The Cincinnati Reds today announced Pat Kelly will be the new manager for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. With over 20 years of managerial experience, Kelly led the Bakersfield Blaze, the former Class A Advanced affiliate for the Reds, in 2014. Alex Pelaez and Jeff Fassero will return as the team’s hitting and pitching coaches, respectively.
Delino DeShields, the Wahoos manager for the past two seasons, will manage the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate for the Reds, in 2015.
“We are very pleased to announce Pat Kelly as the manager of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Pat brings decades of experience and success to the role from all levels of play and I am confident he will bring out the best in our players. Pat understands our intent to put a winning product on the field and will work tirelessly in this pursuit,” said Jeff Graupe, Director of Player Development for the Reds. “I am also proud to introduce Delino DeShields as the new manager in Louisville. Delino will be entering a new chapter of his coaching career, but his time in Pensacola was vital to his development as a manager and will aide him with this new challenge.”
Last season Kelly led the Bakersfield Blaze, the first half champions in the Cal League North, to the Northern Division Finals where they lost the series 3 games to 1 to the Visalia Rawhide. Before heading to Bakersfield, Kelly managed the Reds Pioneer League affiliate in Billings, Montana from 2011–13. Within the Reds organization he also served as the field manager for the Class-A Lynchburg Hillcats in 2010 and prior to that he spent the majority of three seasons as the manager for the Rookie GCL Reds as well as director of Florida on-field operations. In total Kelly, 59, has spent 25 seasons managing in the minor leagues for 17 teams, including Richmond (2003-05), Syracuse (1999-2000), Ottawa (1997-98), Harrisburg (1995-96), Chattanooga (1993-94), Indianapolis (1991-92), Rockford (1991), Las Vegas (1990), Wichita (1988-89), Reno (1987), Charleston (1986), Glens Falls (1985) and GCL White Sox (1984). Kelly’s playing career included stops in the Angels, Blue Jays, Braves and White Sox systems. He reached the big leagues in 1980 with Toronto.
“I’m very excited to manage in Pensacola for the 2015 season,” said Kelly. “Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is known as one of the best facilities in all of professional baseball. Our team should be very competitive and exciting to watch and I look forward to guiding the Wahoos to a Southern League Championship next year!”
Kelly will address the media inside the Blue Wahoos home clubhouse on Wednesday at 3 p.m. From 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Kelly will sign autographs, greet fans and pass out a special holiday gift to season ticket holders at the Bait & Tackle Merchandise Store on South Palafox.
The first game of the 2015 regular season at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is on Thursday, April 9th against the Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers) at 6:30 p.m. All Blue Wahoos 2015 tickets packages are available now at the Hill-Kelly Dodge Pick-Up Window and by calling (850) 934-8444. Follow the Blue Wahoos at bluewahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos, and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall.