ST. PETERSBURG — Rather than fill the one opening they had for an assistant hitting coach, the Rays decided they would prefer to have have two, promoting Dan DeMent and Brady North from their minor-league staff to share the duties.
Rick Knapp, who has been the Triple-A Durham pitching coach, also got a call-up, named to the newly created position of assistant pitching and rehab coach.
The Rays also made official the previously reported promotion of Chris Prieto (pre-EH-toe), 49, who will work first base and have baserunning and outfield coaching responsibilities.
The decision to move up Prieto (who spent six years on Seattle’s big-league staff before joining the Rays in 2020) from minor-league outfield/baserunning coordinator, set in motion some of the changes.
Prieto was to take over at first for Ozzie Timmons, who was going to concentrate solely on assistant hitting coach duties before he was hired by the Brewers as co-hitting coach.
That created the opening for an assistant to hitting coach Chad Mottola, and the Rays oped for two.
DeMent, 43, has been on staff for 13 years, the last two as a minor-league hitting coordinator after working for various affiliates. North, 30, has coached three seasons for the Rays, most recently at Class A Bowling Green, and has a resume that includes a previous stint at Gaither High School.
Knapp, 59, had been at Durham for four years, having been the Tigers’ big-league pitching coach from 2008-11, and worked in the minor leagues in several organizations.
The Rays also made some changes to head athletic trainer Joe Benge’s staff.
Aaron Scott, 42, joined the big-league staff as an assistant athletic trainer after serving as minor league medical coordinator for four years, Mike Sandoval moved from assistant athletic trainer to first assistant, and Mark Vinson from first assistant to the new position of medical coordinator, special projects.
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