The Cleveland Indians will be without Brad Mills for the first time since 2012, but they will have a new bench coach in DeMarlo Hale.
The Cleveland Indians and Terry Francona will have bit of a different look on the coaching staff next season. Brad Mills, who has been the Indians’ bench coach since 2012, will be stepping away from the team as DeMarlo Hale will be taking over his role with the Tribe.
Hale has been a coach in the majors since the early 2000s and will bring more than 15 years of experience to Cleveland. Beginning with the Texas Rangers organization in 2002, Hale has spent time in Boston, Baltimore, Toronto and Atlanta before joining the staff of the Cleveland Indians.
While Hale is new to the Indians, he is familiar with Terry Francona. Hale spent time on Francona’s staff in Boston for six seasons, spanning from 2006 until 2011 after serving on the same staff in Texas as well. While Hale began his tenure in Boston as the third base coach, he made the move to bench coach prior to the start of the 2010 season.
Before arriving in the majors, Hale worked his way through the minor leagues being named Manager of the Year in 1995 and again in 1999 after also managing the United States team in the All-Star Futures Game.
Seeing his success in the minors, the Texas Rangers brought Hale onto their staff, serving as the team’s first base coach beginning in 2002 and through the 2005 season under Buck Showalter. Hale also worked as the team’s outfield instructor, a role that could be valuable to the Cleveland Indians now that he’s on the Tribe’s staff. From there, Hale joined Francona’s staff in Boston.
With Boston, Hale served as the third base coach during the 2006 season before taking over the bench coach role at the start of the 2010 season. Hale joined Francona’s staff in Boston after having been on the same staff in Texas during the 2002 season. During that season, Francona served as the bench coach for the Rangers while Hale was the first base coach.
Before being promoted to bench coach in Boston, Hale was one of the four finalists for the managerial job with the Toronto Blue Jays, along with Sandy Alomar Jr. In the end, the Blue Jays went with John Farrell.
For two seasons the Red Sox had Francona as manager and Hale as bench coach. They finished third in the AL East in both seasons, logging a 179-145 record over the span for a .552 winning percentage.
After Francona moved on from Boston, taking a year off in 2012, Hale stayed within the AL East, spending the 2012 season with the Baltimore Orioles and reuniting with Buck Showalter. In his lone season with Baltimore, Hale served as the third base coach aiding the Orioles to a 93-69 record, good for second in the AL East. The Orioles advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs that season, their first playoff appearance since 1997.
From there, Hale moved back into a bench coach role, joining the Toronto Blue Jays’ staff under John Gibbons. Hale served on Gibbons’ staff for the entirety of his tenure in Toronto as the duo accumulated a 488-484 record for a .502 winning percentage. While the record might seem, well average, the duo of Gibbons and Hale led the Blue Jays to back-to-back American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016.
While the Blue Jays didn’t make the World Series either year, fans of the Cleveland Indians might remember facing Hale in the 2016 ALCS before the Indians bested the Blue Jays to advance to the World Series.
When Gibbons was let go from Toronto and they cleaned house, Hale opted to take a season off, not being on a staff during the 2019 season. However, he was back on the field in 2020, joining the Atlanta Braves as a minor league coach and special assistant. When one of the Braves’ coaches decided to opt out of the 2020 season, it was Hale that stepped up.
Now, Hale will be back on the bench during the 2021 season with the Cleveland Indians. Brad Mills will surely be missed in Cleveland, but given Hale’s background as well as his experience with Terry Francona, the Indians should be just fine.
Additionally, the rest of the staff for the Cleveland Indians will remain intact, including keeping Sandy Alomar Jr. as the team’s first base coach.