The Stadium situation might be getting worse, but the Rays have delivered the coaching staff you were hoping for: moving long time third base coach Tom Foley to the bench, promoting seasoned Durham manager Charlie Montoyo to third base, and adding Rocco Baldelli to first base.
In turn, George Hendrick has accepted a new position in the organization as a baseball operations special adviser, exchanging rolls with Baldelli.
Per the press release, the rest of the coaching staff will remain intact.
Jim Hickey returns for a ninth season as Rays pitching coach (praise DeJesus!), Derek Shelton enters his sixth year as the club's hitting coach, Stan Boroski returns for a fourth season as bullpen coach, and Jamie Nelson enters his third season as the assistant hitting coach.
New manager Kevin Cash shared his appreciation for the hires:
"I feel very fortunate to have inherited a staff that is both respected throughout baseball and knowledgeable of our players and the culture. I am thrilled to have Tom as our bench coach. I have great respect for the role he has played in the organization from its inception and will lean on him for his experience and judgment.
In adding Charlie and Rocco, we have two men who combined have more than 30 years invested in this organization at many different levels and have great familiarity with our players. Both have meant a great deal to the Rays, and I am grateful they will be joining Jim, Derek, Jamie and Stan for what I feel is a great team."
There are several feel good moves in the announcement.
Tom Foley, now age-55, becomes the eighth bench coach in team history and enters the season as the longest tenured coach in club history, his 14th season on the Rays staff, and his 20th in the Rays organization. 2015 will be Foley's 39th season in professional baseball. Per the Rays, only three uniformed personnel have been in the organization as long: former bench coach Bill Evers, new third base coach Charlie Montoyo and hitting coordinator Steve Livesey.
Since his hiring as third base coach on October 25, 2001, Foley served under managers Hal McRae, Lou Piniella and Joe Maddon.
Charlie Montoyo was one of ten finalists for the managing position for the major league squad, and is entering his 19th season as a Rays coach. Functionally, he was a necessary promotion for the Rays, who were in need of a fluent Spanish speaker under Cash, but it's also great to see his time in the org. honored with his first big league job.
Before coaching, Montoyo played 10 seasons (1987-96) as an infielder with the Brewers, Expos and Phillies organizations, and spent 27 days in the majors with Montreal in 1993.
Rocco Baldelli at age-33 becomes the youngest coach in team history. A former sixth overall pick and top prospect for the Devil Rays, Baldelli's career ended prematurely due to a rare metabolic and muscular disorder called Mitochondrial Channelopathy -- a cell disorder that disrupts ions in neurological pathways and causes severe muscle fatigue. The disease is often considered life threatening, but Baldelli did everything in his power to continue playing.
Unfortunately, the disease would prevent him from participating in the 2010 ALDS with the Rays. He retired from the game that off-season, and joined the Rays front office as a special adviser in scouting and player development. Above, in the headlining picture, you can see him throwing out the first pitch before Game 4 of the 2013 ALDS.