After talking to several external candidates, the Rays ended up not going far to complete their coaching staff, promoting Ozzie Timmons from Triple-A Durham to serve as the first base/assistant hitting/baserunning coach.
Timmons, 47, has been a coach in the Rays system for 11 years, working his way up from short-season Class A to Triple-A in 2016.
He is a Tampa native, and Brandon High and University of Tampa product (twice earning Div. II All-American honors), who played parts of five seasons in the majors, last with the Devil Rays in 2000, during a 16-year pro career.
The hiring of Timmons completes the offseason makeover of manager Kevin Cash's staff. That included the addition of three new coaches, Kyle Snyder (pitching), Matt Quatraro (third base) and Timmons, and a change in positions for two others, Charlie Montoyo going from third base to bench, Rocco Baldelli from first base to assorted duties. Only hitting coach Chad Mottola and bullpen coach Stan Boroski are in the same positions from the end of the season.