Bakersfield Blaze name new manager

Bakersfield Blaze name new manager

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Bakersfield Blaze, a Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, announced the coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Pat Kelly, who will be the new Blaze manager, was skipper for the last three seasons at the Reds' Pioneer League affiliate in Billings, Mont.

Reds great Ken Griffey Sr. was Blaze manager from 2011-13. The Blaze didn't address Griffey in Monday's news release.

"The community should be extremely excited about having Pat Kelly manage the team this year," Blaze General Manager Elizabeth Martin said in the news release. "Pat has excelled in creating a winning atmosphere everywhere he's been, and his ability to lead and teach the young ballplayers is unmatched. We believe 2014 is going to be a very strong year for Blaze baseball, and Pat is a huge reason why that will be the case."

Kelly has managed in the minor leagues for more than 20 seasons, the team said.

Tom Browning was named pitching coach, and Ray Martinez is the returning hitting coach.

Browning is a former big league lefty and 1990 World Series champ with the Reds.

The Blaze opening day is Thursday, April 3, at Sam Lynn Ballpark.