Rivera adjusting to new job as third-base coach
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Spring Training is the time for players to work out the kinks before the start of the season, but the same could be said for Luis Rivera.
Toronto's new third-base coach will use the Grapefruit League season to become re-acclimated with the position and continue to build scouting reports on opposing teams.
Rivera does have the added benefit of two-years experience on Toronto's coaching staff, but there still will be a learning curve as he takes over for the departed Brian Butterfield.
"You have to know the outfielders' arms," Rivera said. "Being around for the last couple of years and listening to the meetings we had before games, I have a good idea of who can throw and who cannot throw. To both sides [of the plate], left and right. I need to know that.
"I need to know the guys we can challenge if we can send them to the plate, and I need to know the game situations. I'm very aware of what's going on and what's going to need to be done."
Butterfield earned a reputation across the league for being one of the most aggressive third-base coaches in the game. His philosophy was to force the issue and cause opposing teams to make mistakes.
Rivera could take a similar approach, but he doesn't want to lock himself into one type of strategy. There will be plenty of factors at play in his decision-making process and the line of thinking will be constantly changing depending on the scenario.
"I cannot say what kind of coach I'm going to be at third base, aggressive or not," said Rivera, who spent time coaching third as part of his managerial duties while managing in the Blue Jays' Minor League system for four years.
"The play is going to dictate how I'm doing that over there. The score, a lot of things come into play, who's hitting next, how many outs. All of that stuff comes into play, so for me to make a decision and try to find out what kind of coach I'm going to be, aggressive or not aggressive, the game will dictate."