The Rays have named third base coach Rodney Linares as the team’s new bench coach, according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network (Twitter link). Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently reported that Linares was expected to take over bench coach duties from Matt Quatraro, who was hired as the Royals’ new manager.
The 45-year-old Linares has been the Rays’ third base coach for the last four seasons, coming to Tampa after a long stint in the Astros organization that saw his coaching career begin at age 21. Starting off as a coach and instructor at that young age, Linares got his first managerial assignment in 2007, and worked his way up the minor league ladder to manage all of Houston’s rookie ball, A-ball, high-A, Double-A, and Triple-A affiliates from 2007-18.
Linares will also have a high-profile managerial role during the World Baseball Classic in March, as he’ll man the dugout for the Dominican Republic’s national team. As Morosi notes, Linares is viewed by many as a candidate to eventually manage a Major League club, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him receive interviews during the next round of managerial openings. Quatraro and Charlie Montoyo both moved from the Tampa bench coach job to become a manager elsewhere, as rival teams frequently target the Rays for managerial, coaching staff, and front office hires.