New Podding the Red Sox episode: Double-A Portland development coach Katie Krall joins the show

On this week’s episode of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by new Red Sox player development coach Katie Krall.

In case you missed it, the Red Sox made history earlier this winter by becoming the first major-league franchise to employ two female coaches after they hired Krall. They previously hired minor-league coach Bianca Smith in December 2020.

Krall will be working with the Red Sox’ Double-A affiliate in Portland, Maine this coming season.

On this episode of Podding the Red Sox, Krall discusses how she first got into baseball during her childhood, working in the Commissioner’s Office upon graduating from Northwestern University, spending two years in the Cincinnati Reds’ front office, her brief time at Google as a member of their global strategy team, and what led to her accepting a coaching gig with the Red Sox.

She also delves into her previous connections to New England, meeting Red Sox prospect Triston Casas at the 2018 MLB Draft, her takeaways from the Sox’ Winter Warmup program in Fort Myers this week, the role she will undertake as a member of the Portland Sea Dogs’ coaching staff this season, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other podcast platforms.

My thanks to Katie for taking some time out of her busy schedule to have an in-depth conversation with yours truly.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Katie Krall: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox)

Red Sox unveil roster for Winter Warm-Up minicamp in Fort Myers; Triston Casas and Nick Yorke among prospects who will be in attendance

Beginning next week, the Red Sox will be running a minicamp for minor-leaguers who are not currently on the club’s 40-man roster.

This mini-camp, which is otherwise known as the Winter Warm-Up, essentially serves as precursor to spring training. It will consist of strength training, conditioning, and on- and off-field instruction and will be held at the Fenway South complex in Fort Myers.

On Thursday evening, the Sox revealed who will be attending this mini-camp. The contingent heading down to Southwest Florida consists of 28 players — 12 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders, and three outfielders.

Breaking down the 28-man pool even further, the pitchers who will be participating include left-handers Brendan Cellucci, Austin Lambright, Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, and Jeremy Wu-Yelland, and right-handers Michael Feliz, Franklin German, Brian Keller, Zack Kelly, A.J. Politi, Chase Shugart, and Thaddeus Ward.

The group of catchers attending includes Kole Cottam, Jaxx Groshans, Nathan Hickey, and Stephen Scott. The infielders who will be going are Alex Binelas, Brainer Bonaci, Triston Casas, David Hamilton, Blaze Jordan, Christian Koss, Matthew Lugo, Ceddanne Rafaela, and Nick Yorke.

The outfield composition, on the other hand, will be made up of the likes of Tyler Dearden, Nick Decker, and Gilberto Jimenez.

Of these 28 players, Feliz is the only one with prior major-league experience. The Red Sox re-signed the right-handed reliever to a minor-league deal back in December and invited him to big-league spring training. The same can be said for a fellow righty in Kelly as well.

Additionally, four of the players identified above (excluding Feliz) were acquired by the Red Sox just last month. Binelas and Hamilton were the two prospects Boston picked up alongside Jackie Bradley Jr. in the trade that sent Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers, and Lambright and Keller were the two pitchers they selected in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Besides that, the likes of Casas, Jordan, Yorke, and Jimenez represent just a few of the well-regarded prospects in the Red Sox farm system who will be at this minicamp.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, the idea of the Winter Warm-up is to include players who have already made it to full-season ball, which is why someone like Marcelo Mayer — who only played in the Florida Complex League last year — was not included.

On top of that, prospects on Boston’s 40-man roster — such as Brayan Bello, Kutter Crawford, Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, Connor Seabold, Josh Winckowski, Ronaldo Hernandez, Connor Wong, Jeter Downs, Hudson Potts, Jarren Duran, and Jeisson Rosario — cannot attend on account of the MLB lockout.

With that being said, The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey writes that the group of players who will be in Fort Myers will be receiving on-hand instruction from the Red Sox’ minor-league coaching and player development staff.

Katie Krall, who was recently hired as a development coach for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, will be among the staff members in attendance as they plan ahead for the 2022 season.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Red Sox make history in hiring Katie Krall as development coach with Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have hired Katie Krall to serve as a player development coach with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Per Speier, “Krall will have a hybrid role in which she navigates among the front office, coaching staff, and players, while helping to integrate technology and information into on-field work.”

Krall, 24, is a native of Illinois who graduated from Northwestern University in 2018. She is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Upon graduating from Northwestern in 2018, Krall spent nearly two years working in the Commissioner’s Office as part of Major League Baseball’s Diversity Fellowship Program.

In January 2020, Krall was hired by the Cincinnati Reds to work in the club’s front office as a baseball operations analyst. She served in that role through the end of the 2021 season and her responsibilities included developing and integrating new tools and technology to improve baseball operations decision-making processes as well as providing comprehensive scouting coverage and statistical request support.

Krall’s upcoming endeavor with the Sea Dogs will not be her first experience in New England. She previously interned for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League during the summer of 2017.

In hiring Krall, the Red Sox — as noted by Speier — become the first MLB team to have multiple women on coaching staffs in the organization. The Sox hired Bianca Smith as a minor-league coach last January, allowing her to become the first Black woman hired to coach in the history of affiliated baseball.

“I’m super excited about Katie,” Smith said of Krall in a recent conversation with Speier. “I know her background. I know what she’s done. I’m glad I’m able to be a resource to help. I’m excited to work with her.

“We’ve already talked about how we’ve got to get a picture when we’re together at spring training, because that’s going to be history in itself — that an organization has two women,” added Smith. “It’s kind of sad that it’s still a big deal, but we’re both really excited about it.”

Upon joining the Red Sox organization last year, Smith started out on a seasonal, six-month contract in which she worked primarily with hitters and outfielders in extended spring training in Fort Myers. Her responsibilities gradually increased once the 2021 Florida Complex League season began.

According to Speier, Smith will be promoted and undertake a full-time coaching role in Fort Myers in 2022.

This news comes at a time when glass ceilings are continuously shattering across baseball. Earlier this week, the Yankees introduced Rachel Balkovec as the new manager of their Low-A affiliate in the Tampa Tarpons, making her the first woman to ever be appointed manager of a minor-league team.

As of this moment, 11 women are slated to coach in affiliated baseball during the 2022 season. Of those 11, eight (including Balkovec, Krall, and Smith) have been hired by their respective clubs since January 2021.

(Picture of Hadlock Field: Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)