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Giants add two to Kapler's coaching staff

@mi_guardado
January 7, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants made two additions to new manager Gabe Kapler’s coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing the hiring of Antoan Richardson as first-base coach and Nick Ortiz as quality assurance coach. Richardson, 36, made a brief cameo on the Giants’ coaching staff last year when his predecessor, José

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants made two additions to new manager Gabe Kapler’s coaching staff on Tuesday, announcing the hiring of Antoan Richardson as first-base coach and Nick Ortiz as quality assurance coach.

Richardson, 36, made a brief cameo on the Giants’ coaching staff last year when his predecessor, José Alguacil, took a one-game leave to attend his son’s graduation in June. Richardson, who hails from the Bahamas, served as the Giants’ Minor League field coordinator in 2019 and will also oversee the club’s baserunning and outfield instruction in the Majors.

A 35th-round Draft pick of the Giants out of Vanderbilt in 2005, Richardson appeared in 22 Major League games for the Braves and Yankees and shared an indelible moment with Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, 2014. After entering the game as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning, Richardson scored on Jeter’s walk-off single in the final home at-bat of Jeter’s career.

Ortiz, 46, joins the Giants after spending the previous four seasons coaching in the Yankees' organization, most recently as the manager of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees. A 34th-round Draft pick of the Red Sox in 1990, Ortiz played 12 seasons in the Minors as an infielder. Born in Cidra, Puerto Rico, Ortiz fulfills Kapler’s wish to add a native Spanish speaker to his staff.

The Giants did not have a quality assurance coach last year, but Kapler laid out his vision for the role last month during the Winter Meetings.

“It can mean any number of things,” Kapler said. “I think it's just a title that a lot of clubs use to identify maybe the last coach on their staff. It’s definitely not the least important, but we thought about it as a conduit between strength and conditioning, medical, the cage, the bullpen, bringing that all together. We thought about somebody who is more focused on creating culture. We thought about somebody who analyzes and evaluates practices and seeks to make them better. That's one way to think about it.”

The Giants now have 11 members on their coaching staff, though only seven can be in uniform and in the dugout during games.

Third-base coach Ron Wotus in the lone holdover from Bruce Bochy’s staff. The other newcomers include bullpen and catching coach Craig Albernaz, pitching coach Andrew Bailey, director of pitching Brian Bannister, bench coach and infield coach Kai Correa, co-hitting coaches Donnie Ecker and Justin Viele, assistant pitching coach Ethan Katz and director of hitting and assistant hitting coach Dustin Lind.

Ortiz and the 58-year-old Wotus are the only Giants coaches over 40.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.