Reds fire hitting coach after sixth straight losing season

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati hitting coach Chris Chambliss was fired Wednesday after the Reds endured an offensive slump in the last five weeks of the season and fell out of playoff contention.

Chambliss wasn't offered another contract after three seasons as the hitting coach, the team said. Bullpen coach Lee Tunnell also won't return but could have a position in the farm system.

Cincinnati finished 80-82, its sixth straight losing season, after collapsing during the final stretch. The Reds were within a percentage point of first place in the NL Central on Aug. 24 but then went into a tailspin.

A lack of offense and injuries were the main culprits for the Reds, who were second in the NL with 217 homers but finished second to last in the NL with a .257 average.

Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Phillips, David Ross and Scott Hatteberg all finished with extended slumps. Ken Griffey Jr. missed most of the last month with an injured toe.

Bench coach Bucky Dent, first base coach Billy Hatcher, third base coach Mark Berry and bullpen coach Tom Hume agreed to contracts for next season, along with bullpen catcher Mike Stefanski.

The Reds are looking for a pitching coach to take over for Vern Ruhle, who was sidelined much of last season with cancer. Ruhle will be reassigned within the team.