Bolivar returns as Dragons manager for third straight season

Rather than a call-up, Luis Bolivar welcomes another round as the Dayton Dragons manager.

The Cincinnati Reds made that official by assigning Bolivar to Dayton for a third consecutive season. The parent club announced all its minor-league managers and coaching staffs on Wednesday.

“I’m very excited,” Bolivar said. “I love being here and it’s a good franchise. I’m close to home. I’m glad to see all the talent come through here. We’re going to keep working hard and I’m ready to go.”

The Dragons’ coaching staff will be returners Kevin Mahr (bench) and Seth Etherton (pitching), and newcomer Mike Devereaux (hitting).

Bolivar remains the ninth manager since the Dragons debuted in 2000. Only Donnie Scott (two stints, five combined seasons) has been the Dragons’ manager more seasons.

Bolivar also is the most entrenched combination of player, coach and manager in Dragons history. He was the Dragons hitting coach from 2014-16 under former managers Jose Nieves and Dick Schofield. He also played for the Dragons for two seasons and was a Midwest League All-Star in 2004.

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Bolivar is a native Venezuelan who became a U.S. citizen during the 2017 season in a celebrated ceremony at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field. He and his family reside in Vandalia.

His personable demeanor has made him a Reds’ administration and fan favorite. He’s especially adept at bonding with the many Latin American players who frequent the Dragons’ roster.

“I’m glad I can help them,” Bolivar said. “I went through that and I know how they feel.”

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Mahar is back for his third season and Etherton will be in his second year.

Devereaux was the hitting coach for the Reds’ Double-A affiliate in Pensacola, Florida, last season. An outfielder who spent most of 12 major-league seasons with the Orioles, Devereaux was a minor-league coach with the Rockies from 2012-17 and Orioles from 2010-11.

Daryle Ward, the Dragons’ hitting coach the past two seasons, will be assigned to another Reds’ minor-league team.

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The Dragons, 58-80 overall last season, open their Class A Midwest League season on Thursday, April 4 by hosting the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fifth Third Field.

The Dragons’ roster will be announced following spring training at Goodyear, Arizona. Pitchers and catchers will report first to most spring-training facilities on Feb. 12-13. Bolivar will report to spring training on March 5 for the start of minor-league camp.

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Other Reds’ minor-league managers announced on Wednesday were Jody Davis (Louisville Bats AAA, previously Pensacola Blue Wahoos manager), Pat Kelly (Chattanooga Lookouts AA; previously Reds’ interim bench coach), Ricky Gutierrez (Daytona Tortugas A-plus, second season), Ray Martinez (Billings Mustangs rookie A, third season), Gookie Dawkins (Greeneville Reds rookie, second season), Luis Saturria (Dominican Summer League Reds rookie, first season) and Nieves (Arizona Reds rookie extended spring training, fourth season).

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• Luis Bolivar, manager, third season.

• Kevin Mahar, bench, third season.

• Seth Etherton, pitching, second season.

• Mike Devereaux, hitting, first season.

• Season opener: 7 p.m. Thu., April 4 vs. Bowling Green at Fifth Third Field.

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