The Tampa Bay Rays formally (read: FINALLY) introduced new Skipper Kevin Cash, in an afternoon presser at The Trop — hitting coach Derek Shelton, RHP Jake Odorizzi, and ex-Devil Ray Toby Hall were among those on hand in the audience.
Over the span of the introductory presser, Cash raved about the organization saying,
“I’m extremely excited about the energy and the optimism that everybody I’ve been fortunate enough to speak with has presented,” Cash said. “I’m thrilled with the opportunity to work with them.”
Continuing by mentioning,
“It’s an incredible honor to be named a major-league manager, and I don’t think you can quantify getting to do that in your home town,” Cash said. “It’s incredibly special. And a joy to get back home.”
Eager to meet more of the staff, Cash and Matt Silverman will meet this week with an expectation to have the coaching staff finalized in the next few days. A desire by the team to promote from within, the need to add a Spanish speaker to the staff, and the option of having at least one more coach to throw batting practice are all potential factors in the hiring of a bench coach.
Of the many scenarios being talked about, shifting 3B coach Tom Foley to bench duties and filling that opening instead. Longtime Triple-A manager Charlie Montoyo has also gotten strong support from some in the organization, while ex-player Rocco Baldelli could be an interesting outside-the-box hire to add a bright mind to the staff. Then again, “Another option is to go outside for someone sharp who has coaching but not managing experience,” writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, “with former Devil Ray Eduardo Perez and current Royals coach Pedro Grifol — both, like Cash, FSU products — among many possibilities.” There’s also the question whether Cash gets to hire one of his own guys.
As it relates to that very question, Cash noted,
It’s probably most important to get the best coaches to connect with our players.
In the end, Cash was concise in his summation of where he’ll go from here, “It’s go time!”
You can view the press conference in its entirety below.
- Looks like former Ray Cole Figueroa found another job in the AL East:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 15, 2014
- Per Topkin, if the Rays do promote Montoyo, the likely in-house candidate to replace him in Durham is Jared Sandberg, who managed last year at Class A Charlotte.
- The Rays continue their discussions on a trade or two. An experienced reliever or two is expected be added on minor-league deals. The Phillies are expected to eat most of the $60 million owed to Ryan Howard, who still could be of interest to the Rays.
- “Scripting a plan for spring training will be more important than usual,” writes Topkin. “Cash will use the six weeks to build the relationships and trust with players he so values and speaks incessantly of, and the month of exhibition games to learn how, and how best, he will manage a game.”