(Bowling Green, KY) - As the Hot Rods prepare for the second season in Bowling Green, the team has learned it will have a new manager for 2010. Inaugural season skipper Matt Quatraro has been promoted by the Tampa Bay Rays to Minor League Hitting Coordinator, a position he will share with 2009 Hitting Coordinator Steve Livesey.
Instead of spending an entire season with one team, Quatraro will be a roving coordinator who travels among all nine of the Rays minor league affiliates. "Q" will likely visit the full season affiliates, including Bowling Green, early in the season. Once short-season and rookie leagues begin play in June, he'll spend more of his time with the younger players just entering the Rays farm system.
"I am looking forward to the new challenges and responsibilities that come with the position," said Quatraro. "I really enjoyed my time in Bowling Green and greatly appreciate the support the fans and the front office gave me and the team. I am looking forward to coming back in the 2010 season in a different capacity and supporting the staff and players in any way I can. My goals will still be the same, to develop championship caliber players."
This will be Quatraro's second stint on the Rays roving staff, having joined the Rays' coaching ranks as catching instructor in 2003. He is one of nine instructors on the staff for 2010, up from six rovers last season. The promotions are part of the Rays continued focus on minor league development.
"We made these additions to our player development staff because we want to support our young players as much as possible," said Rays' Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics. "With nine affiliates and 270 players in our minor league system, we have more teams and players than ever before. We feel these additions will ensure that every player receives the attention he deserves."
As part of his new duties, Quatraro, a New York state native, will get to spend more time in his home state with the Hudson Valley Renegades (New York-Penn League). He'll also visit the West Virginia-based Princeton Rays (Appalachian League) and the Rays minor league club in the Gulf Coast League. In addition to the stateside clubs, he will devote a significant amount of time to the Rays' minor league academies in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, ensuring better communication between Latin America and Tampa.
Quatraro already has experience working internationally. After the 2008 season, Matt was the third base coach for Leones del Caracas, a club in the prestigious Venezuelan Winter League. He is currently back in Venezuela serving as hitting coach for Leones, helping guide the club to the top of the VWL standings.
After his lone season in Kentucky, Q was named a finalist for the Best of Bowling Green awards, earning recognition in the "Best Local Sports Coach" category. The Rays have yet to name his replacement in Bowling Green. The entire 2010 Hot Rods Field Staff will be announced at a later date.
Information from the Tampa Bay Rays was used in this story.