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  1. Rays

Matt Quatraro excited for challenge of new job as Rays bench coach

Matt Quatraro, left, celebrates with Rays first baseman C.J. Cron after Cron hit a home run during a game against the Texas Rangers in April. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
Matt Quatraro, left, celebrates with Rays first baseman C.J. Cron after Cron hit a home run during a game against the Texas Rangers in April. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Oct. 31, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Quatraro won't know until the Rays start playing games exactly how he will adapt to his new role as bench coach on Kevin Cash's staff. But he is quite sure he is ready for the challenge after being promoted from third-base coach.

"There's no doubt when your responsibilities change, your mindset changes to a certain degree, too,'' Quatraro said Wednesday. "I don't know exactly what will be different on a day-to-day basis and what I'll be exposed to than before, but I'm looking forward to that kind of stuff and to keep learning about the game.''

The Rays made official Wednesday that Quatraro would replace Charlie Montoyo, who left to become manager of the Blue Jays. The Rays are now looking to hire a third-base coach and a field coordinator, as Rocco Baldelli also left to manage the Twins. Minor-league managers Jared Sandberg and Brady Williams are among internal candidates.

Quatraro, 44, was known for his preparation, organization and hard work as a player, coach and manager in the Rays minor-league system, and as assistant hitting coach with the Indians for four years before re-joining the Rays in 2018.

He acknowledged he will have to get back up to speed a bit on running a game, having last managed at Class A in 2009, plus a 2015 stint in the Arizona Fall League. Quatraro did get some experience assisting Brad Mills when he filled in at times for Cleveland manager Terry Francona, and said he learned a lot seeing what Mills and Montoyo did, and how they did it, over the past five seasons.

"I'm really honored to get the opportunity,' Quatraro said. "Your focus was on different things (as third base coach), but at the same time you're focusing on and paying attention to the game, who we're playing, what we do well.''

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