ST. PETERSBURG -- Rocco Baldelli has been promoted to the position of Major League field coordinator, finalizing manager Kevin Cash's Major League coaching staff for 2018.In addition, Tom Foley was named special assistant, baseball operations and Jamie Nelson was named to the coaching staff for Double-A Montgomery."Rocco has been promoted
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rocco Baldelli has been promoted to the position of Major League field coordinator, finalizing manager Kevin Cash's Major League coaching staff for 2018.
In addition, Tom Foley was named special assistant, baseball operations and Jamie Nelson was named to the coaching staff for Double-A Montgomery.
"Rocco has been promoted to a position that will take full advantage of his personal strengths as well as the strengths of our staff as a whole," Cash said. "This is a cohesive group that will feed off of one another and generate many thoughts focused on how we can get better. A significant part of Rocco's job as Major League field coordinator will be making sure that we successfully implement these ideas. Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with the way this staff has come together, and I'm excited to see it in action this spring."
In Baldelli's new role, he will assist Cash and bench coach Charlie Montoyo during the game and continue his work with the outfielders. Next year will be his 19th season in professional baseball, 18 of which have been spent in the Rays organization. Most recently, Baldelli was the Rays' first-base coach for three seasons (2015-17).
Prior to joining the Major League coaching staff, Baldelli spent four years (2011-14) in the front office as a special assistant, baseball operations.
The Rays selected Baldelli with the sixth overall pick in the 2000 Draft, and in 2003 he finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year Award balloting behind Angel Berroa (Kansas City) and Hideki Matsui (New York). Limited by injuries throughout his career, he played parts of six seasons in the Majors with the Rays (2003-04, 2006-08, 2010) and Red Sox (2009).
He is one of three players in Rays history to hit a home run in the World Series, which he did in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.
As special assistant, baseball operations, Foley will assist the Rays in a variety a ways, including but not limited to on-field instruction, off-field mentorship, talent evaluation and time in the front office. Next year will be his 42nd season in professional baseball and 23rd in the organization, including a 16-year tenure on the Major League coaching staff. He served as bench coach for the last three seasons (2015-17) after 13 seasons (2002-14) as the third-base coach.
Nelson will join Montgomery for his 31st season in professional baseball and 19th in the Rays organization. He spent the last five seasons (2013-17) as a coach on the Major League staff. Prior to joining the Major League club, he was a hitting coach for Rookie-level Princeton (2000) and Class A Charleston (2001-02), manager of Princeton (2003-07) and the Rays' Minor League catching coordinator (2008-12).
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.