Over the past two seasons, the Cleveland Indians pitching staff has been a constant surprise. The development of starters like Corey Kluber, Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Carrasco and more have propelled the Tribe to back-to-back successful campaigns. Two of the unheralded coaches behind this success are pitching coach Mickey Callaway and bullpen coach Kevin Cash.
Well, the surprise is out of the bag now. After a long search following the departure of skipper Joe Maddon to the Cubs, the Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly stolen away Cash to be their new manager. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported the news on Friday afternoon.
Sources: Kevin Cash will be the #Rays’ new manager.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 5, 2014
Cash turns 37 years old on Saturday and becomes the youngest current manager in Major League Baseball. He also was a finalist for the Texas Rangers managerial opening last month, but lost out to Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister. The other remaining finalist for the Rays position was Don Wakamatsu, 51, the former manager of the Seattle Mariners and the current Kansas City Royals bench coach. Recently retired Raul Ibanez was the third finalist but had removed himself from consideration earlier this week due to family considerations.
Cash retired from his playing days following the 2011 season. A Florida State product, he was signed by the Blue Jays way back in 1999. He appeared in 246 major league games for five different teams over eight seasons. One of those teams was the Rays, where he also spent a few years with their Triple-A Durham affiliate.
— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) December 4, 2014
While bullpen coaches aren’t typically the sexiest of names, Cash was often lauded by everyone in the Indians organization. Now, manager Terry Francona and Callaway will have to collaborate to find some type of replacement for the coming season. Kudos to the Rays for taking a leap of faith and hiring the well regarded youngster as they look to a new life without Maddon.