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Rays promote Matt Quatraro to bench coach

C.J. Cron is congratulated by third-base coach Matt Quatraro after his first-inning homer for Rays. [AP]
C.J. Cron is congratulated by third-base coach Matt Quatraro after his first-inning homer for Rays. [AP]
Published Oct. 30, 2018|Updated Oct. 31, 2018

(The Rays made the move official Wednesday afternoon.)

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays didn't look far to find a replacement for bench coach Charlie Montoyo, deciding to promote third-base coach Matt Quatraro to the key role assisting manager Kevin Cash.

Quatraro, 44, re-joined the Rays in 2018 after four seasons as the Indians assistant hitting coach. Before that, he spent seven seasons playing in the Rays' minor-league system and 10 on the staff – two as a coach, four as a manager and four as a hitting coordinator. As third-base coach last season, he also worked with the catchers and was involved in game-planning.

Cash said Quatraro's preparation, organizational skills and work ethic all made him an obvious choice over bringing in a more experienced coach or former manager from the outside. "The way he prepares, it's a distant second to anybody I've ever been around,'' Cash said. "Ask anybody on our staff, they're going to rave about him.

"He's one of those guys, if you don't like Matt Quatraro, you might want to look in the mirror because something's wrong with you.''

What Quatraro lacks is experience playing in the majors or managing much at any level, posting a 196-228 record at the short-season and the Class A level from 2006-09. Cash is confident he will grow into the role. "Is he going to be Charlie Montoyo on the bench? No. (Predecessor) Tom Foley? Probably not,'' Cash said. "But you would certainly like to think in time he will be.''

The Rays have two openings on the staff after Montoyo was hired to manage the Blue Jays and Rocco Baldelli the Twins.

With Quatraro's promotion, they will look to hire a third-base coach and a field coordinator, with some flexibility. Triple-A manager Jared Sandberg and Double-A manager Brady Williams will be among internal candidates.

Expect the Rays to also look outside as they would benefit from having a Spanish speaker and need someone to provide infield instruction, which Montoyo handled.

Notable

Former Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton, a candidate for the Twins job that went to Baldelli, reportedly will interview for the Rangers manager vacancy. … Options were declined for former Rays outfielder Denard Span ($12 million, Mariners), and first baseman Logan Morrison ($8 million, Twins).

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.