The Tampa Bay Rays have hired Rodney Linares to be the team’s new Third Base coach, following the promotion of Matt Quatraro to Bench Coach.
Linares has had an incredible journey through his career, beginning with two years as a player and 21 years of coaching experience in the Astros system, having transitioned to a coaching role at age-20.
Even this off-season has been a wild one, beginning with his contract not being renewed after a coaching shake up in the Astros minor league system. Then:
New #Rays 3B coach Linares had his car stolen 1st week back in DR, lost his US cell phone so Cash wasn't able to reach him. #Astros manager A.J. Hinch reached out on Instagram to tell Linares of #Rays interest and they connected.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 21, 2018
The #Rays new 3B Coach Rodney Linares says he was speechless when he heard the news, and that he immediately started crying.— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) November 21, 2018
Despite his lack of contract renewal, Linares has a strong reputation. Here are some notes from the Rays press release:
In 2018, he managed Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies to an 82-57 (.590) record, winning the Pacific Coast League North Division title, and was named the PCL’s Best Manager Prospect by Baseball America. He is currently managing Águilas de Cibaeñas in the Dominican Winter League.
“Rodney has impacted so many players during his time with the Astros, including José Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and J.D. Martínez,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “The amount of positive feedback we received throughout this process made it clear that he is a very high quality individual. In addition to his third base coaching duties, he will work with our infielders and bring many years of managing experience to our staff.”
Linares is expected to take on the role of infield instructor, and adds a needed native Spanish speaking voice to the staff. You can read more about Linares from Baseball America here.