Reds fire hitting coach Turner Ward after 1 season


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds have fired hitting coach Turner Ward after one season.

President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams announced Ward’s dismissal Tuesday.

Ward was hired as part of first-year manager David Bell’s staff last offseason after three years as hitting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cincinnati finished the season 75-87, an eight-game improvement from 2018 after adding veteran hitters Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp — both from the Dodgers — plus three starting pitchers. While the pitching improved, the offense was mostly worse.

In a year when power surged around the majors, the Reds upped their home run total from 172 to 227 but declined in nearly every other category. They dipped in batting average and on-base percentage, struck out more often and narrowly improved their output from 696 runs to 701. A number of key players regressed, notably star Joey Votto, who hit .261 with 15 home runs.

Williams thanked Ward in a statement but added that “as we reflected on this season, it became clear that we lacked the alignment we were seeking with our offensive approach.”