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Quatraro returns to Rays as third-base coach

MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Quatraro is the Rays' lastest addition to the coaching staff in a season of turnover, as the team announced him as their new third-base coach Tuesday morning.

Gone from the Rays is pitching coach Jim Hickey, who is rumored to be going to the Cubs. Catching/hitting coach Jaime Nelson and bench coach Tom Foley will assume other duties within the organization.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Quatraro is the Rays' lastest addition to the coaching staff in a season of turnover, as the team announced him as their new third-base coach Tuesday morning.

Gone from the Rays is pitching coach Jim Hickey, who is rumored to be going to the Cubs. Catching/hitting coach Jaime Nelson and bench coach Tom Foley will assume other duties within the organization.

Meanwhile, third-base coach Charlie Montoyo is now the bench coach, and Kyle Snyder the pitching coach. Rays manager Kevin Cash also told reporters on Tuesday that first-base coach Rocco Baldelli will move to the dugout in a field-coordinator-type role. Thus, filling the vacated first-base coach slot will be the final addition to complete the seven-man coaching staff. Cash said that announcement should come after the World Series.

Quatraro, 43, becomes the sixth third-base coach in franchise history, following Greg Riddoch, Billy Hatcher, Terry Collins, Foley and Montoyo.

"Q brings tremendous knowledge in many areas and has been a big part of some very good teams," Cash said. "He's creative, a good communicator and earns the respect and trust of his players. We're excited to bring him back to the Rays."

Video: Cash discusses Rays hiring Quatraro as coach

Next season will be Quatraro's 23rd in professional baseball and 15th in a coaching capacity. He returns to the Rays' organization after spending the previous four seasons with the Indians as the assistant hitting coach. During his tenure, the Indians ranked fifth in the Majors with 4.55 runs per game.

Quatraro said he was notified that the Rays had contacted the Indians last Tuesday to ask permission to talk with him. That led to positive discussions before Quatraro accepted the Rays' offer.

"My understanding of the role is that the in-game responsibility will be coaching third and all the preparation that goes into that, as far as studying opposing outfielders and infielders and how they handle their cuts and relays," Quatraro said. "And try to be prepared for those situations as they come up and obviously getting to learn our baserunners to make good decisions.

"Along with that, a large emphasis on doing the physical work with the catchers, but also a lot of the game planning with Stan [Boroski] and Kyle [Snyder]."

Prior to joining the Indians, Quatraro spent his entire baseball career with the Rays' organization, most recently as Minor League hitting coordinator from 2010-13. In addition, he spent four seasons as a Minor League manager, going 196-228 with Class A Bowling Green (2009), Class A Columbus (2008) and Class A Hudson Valley (2006-07).

Quatraro's coaching career began midway through the 2004 season, as a catching instructor and coach with Hudson Valley. With his hiring that year, Quatraro became the first Rays Minor League player to join the organization's coaching staff.

Quatraro was an eighth-round selection by the Rays in the 1996 Draft. He played seven seasons in the Rays' system as a catcher, first baseman and outfielder, reaching Triple-A Durham in 2002.

"I'm extremely eager [to start]," Quatraro said. "I'm really excited about some of the responsibilities and some of the things that hopefully I can bring to the table."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays