Following the departures of bench coach Matt Quatraro and field coordinator Paul Hoover to the Kansas City Royals, the Rays have announced changes to Manager Kevin Cash’s coaching staff.
The Rays have promoted Rodney Linares to bench coach, elevated Brady Williams from manager of Triple-A Durham to major league third base coach and elevated Tomas Francisco from minor league catching coordinator to major league field coordinator.
“I could not be more thrilled to announce the promotions of Rodney, Brady and Tomas,” said Rays Manager Kevin Cash. “Rodney has been and will continue to be an integral and respected member of our coaching staff. He has had a positive impact working with our infielders and has a genuine connection with all our players. I look forward to seeing that continue in his new role. Both Brady and Tomas will be valuable additions to our coaching staff. Brady brings a wealth of knowledge from his managerial experience in the minor leagues and Tomas has built many relationships in our organization over his 10 years in player development. Overall, I’m very excited with the way this staff has come together.”
Linares 46, becomes the 11th bench coach in club history, following Frank Howard (1998-99), Bill Russell (2000), Hal McRae (2001), Billy Hatcher (2001-02), John McLaren (2003-05), Bill Evers (2006-07), Dave Martinez (2008-14), Tom Foley (2015-17), Charlie Montoyo (2018) and Quatraro (2019-22).
The 2023 season will be his 27th in professional baseball, 25th as a coach or manager and fifth as a major league coach. He joined the Rays on November 21, 2018 and spent four seasons as the third base coach. Prior to the Rays, he spent 21 years in the Houston Astros organization, including the last 12 as a manager. He compiled a 761-694 (.523) record managing Triple-A Fresno (2018), Double-A Corpus Christi (2015-17), Class-A Lancaster (2012-14), Class-A Lexington (2010-11) and Rookie-level Greenville (2007-09).
Linares began his coaching career in 1999 as a coach and scout for the Astros Dominican Republic operations and remained in that role through the 2004 season before serving as the hitting coach for Lexington from 2005-06. The former infielder played parts of two seasons in the minors in the Detroit Tigers (1997) and Astros (1998) systems.
On July 28, Linares was named the manager of the Dominican Republic team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. From 2006-18, he was involved with the Dominican Winter League for 13 consecutive seasons, including time as a manager for the Aguilas Cibaenas (2018), Gigantes del Cibao (2017) and Estrellas de Oriente (2016).
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve as the next bench coach for the Rays,” said Linares. “Our club continues to make strides each year and I can’t wait to continue to pursue our ultimate goal of winning the World Series. I am looking forward to helping the team grow, improve and continue to win games.”
Linares resides in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic with his three sons: Steven, Ryan and Milan. His father, Julio Linares, is the Astros special advisor for Latin American development and has been part of the organization since 1973.
Williams, 43, becomes the eighth third base coach in franchise history, following Greg Riddoch (1998-99), Billy Hatcher (2000-01), Terry Collins (2001), Tom Foley (2002-14), Charlie Montoyo (2015- 17), Quatraro (2018) and Linares (2019-22). In addition to his third base coaching duties, he will focus on the continued development of infielders and outfielders.
The 2023 season will be his 24th in professional baseball, 18th as a coach or manager and first as a major league coach. His entire coaching and managerial career has been since joining the Rays organization on March 5, 2006. He began his minor league managerial career with Short-A Hudson Valley in 2009 and spent 13 seasons as a manager in the Rays system, including three seasons with Triple-A Durham (2019-22), five seasons with Double-A Montgomery (2014-18), one season with Class-A Charlotte (2013) and three seasons with Class-A Bowling Green (2010-2012).
In his 13 seasons as a minor league manager, he compiled a 944-799 (.542) record and guided his teams to six straight postseason appearances from 2015-22, including back-to-back league championships with Durham in 2021-22. He spent the 2008 season as a coach with Class-A Vero Beach, 2007 as a coach with Class-A Columbus and 2006 as a coach with Class-A Southwest Michigan.
“This is such an exciting time for me and my family,” said Williams. “I am so thankful to the Rays organization for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. It is an honor to join the major league coaching staff after growing up in the area, playing in the Rays system and coaching at every level of the organization. To have this opportunity with the Rays speaks volumes to the organization and the development and trust that they invest in their people.”
Selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 45th round of the 1999 Amateur Draft, the former first baseman played five seasons of minor league ball with the Red Sox (1999–2001), Minnesota Twins (2002) and Rays (2003) before joining the coaching ranks. He attended Pasco Hernando Community College and was a member of the 1991 Dunedin Little League team that advanced to the World Series. He is the son of former Rays special instructor and big league manager Jimmy Williams.
Williams and his wife, Tatianna, have two sons, Balazs and Milan, and reside in Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Francisco, 34, becomes the third major league field coordinator in Rays history, following Rocco Baldelli (2018) and Hoover (2019-22). In this role, he will work defensively with catchers and focus on the development of major league players.
The 2023 season will be his 15th in professional baseball, 11th as a coach, manager or instructor and first as a major league coach. Prior to his four seasons as a minor league catching coordinator, he spent one season managing the GCL Rays (2018), two seasons as a coach with the GCL Rays (2016-17) and three seasons as a coach with the DSL Rays (2013 -15). He joined the coaching ranks after a four-year playing career in the Rays system, reaching as high as Bowling Green in 2010. The former catcher originally signed with the Rays on May 3, 2006 and began his professional career with the DSL Rays.
“I am honored for this opportunity to join the major league coaching staff and can’t wait to start,” said Francisco. “The organization has supported me as a minor league player, coach, manager and coordinator and I’m so proud to be part of the Tampa Bay Rays family.”
Francisco and his wife, Estaurys, reside in North Port, Fla.
For more information about these changes to the coaching staff, we highly recommend you check out the latest podcast from Neil Solondz interviewing all three coaches: