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RubberDucks talk with Rouglas Odor

Manager Rouglas Odor earned his club-record-setting 245th win as Akron manager with Sunday's doubleheader sweep in New Hampshire. (Kayla McMillen)
January 12, 2024

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW Over 35 years. Rouglas Odor has been in the Cleveland organization for over 35 years as a player, coach, manager or coordinator. Now Odor is getting his shot in Major League Baseball as the new third base coach and infield coach for the



Over 35 years.

Rouglas Odor has been in the Cleveland organization for over 35 years as a player, coach, manager or coordinator.

Now Odor is getting his shot in Major League Baseball as the new third base coach and infield coach for the Cleveland Guardians.

“I went through the interview process, and I remember I was getting groceries when Stephen [Vogt] called me and said the good news,” Odor said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of the big-league club and I am very excited.”

For Odor, this is the culmination of a long coaching journey that began after his playing career ended.

Odor started his coaching career running the Venezuelan academy. From there he entered affiliated levels and worked his way throughout as a manger and hitting coach.

“I am happy that I had the opportunity to spend some time and coach at the academy in Venezuela,” Odor said. “Then I went to rookie ball and spent some time there and spent some time at every level as a manger, a hitting coach or an infield coach. And I had the experience at every level and now I am going to get it at the big-league level, so I am happy about the career that I’ve had.”

And throughout his journey, Odor learned and grew in his role just as the players did.

“I believe that respecting each personality is going to get the most out of the player,” Odor said. “It’s about respecting people and trying to get the most out of that person instead of making people how you want them to be. It’s what I’ve done lately, and I think it’s been working and that is what I am going to keep doing. I think if we respect each other, get along and respect each nationality, I believe that is the best way to grow and get the best out of the players."

For the last four seasons, Odor has been using the philosophy to shatter the record book as manager of the Akron RubberDucks. Odor is the longest tenured manager in franchise history with four seasons at the helm. He is also the winningest manager in franchise history with 278 victories.

And in 2021, Odor guided the RubberDucks to their sixth league title in franchise history by winning the Double-A Northeast championship.

“The 2021 year when we won the championship, the very first win we had was a walk-off by Oscar Gonzalez and the last win we had was a walk-off by Bo Naylor to win the championship,” Odor said. “What a special year. So many great groups of players we had. We had three different types of teams that year because a group of players would get moved up to Columbus and then we would get a wave from A-ball. Then that wave would go up and we had another wave coming. The chemistry was great, the guys were interacting with each other. That 2021 year was a special year.”

And now as many of those players from 2021 and throughout Odor’s Akron tenure reach Cleveland, the addition of Rougie to the Guardians coaching staff creates a reunion.

“That’s special, that’s what I am thinking about. I am going to get there and be like ‘is this the Akron ball club,’” Odor said. “It’s a pretty special group of players, and the relationship I have with them is special. I can’t wait to be with them again in that atmosphere.”

But this will not be the only reunion for Odor in Cleveland. 2023 RubberDucks pitching coach Brad Goldberg will be joining the Guardians coaching staff as the bullpen coach.

“I am so excited to work with Rougie again,” Goldberg said. "Excited for him and his family in general. Rougie is an elite communicator. He has his coaches’ backs; he has his players’ backs. I am not sure there are enough adjectives to go around about Rougie. The guy just cares at a super high level about the organization, the players, the people in the organization.”

“He’s ready. He is all about preparation, all about being prepared, all about helping the players,” Odor said about Goldberg. “He knows the analytic part of the game but also understands that we have young pitchers that need a lot of help, so he has the perfect combination. I was excited that he had the opportunity to interview for that job and he got it, and he is going to help our pitchers.”

Both are joining first year manager Stephen Vogt’s staff in Cleveland.

“I knew who he was, but I didn’t know him until talking in the interviews,” Odor said. “He is trying to bring us together and from what I’ve seen, he’s a person that really cares about people. He wants to get to know you and he wants to help you. It’s been great first interactions with him.”

“He’s worked with a lot of these guys as they’ve come up through the ranks together,” Vogt said to the Cleveland media about Odor. “There’s familiarity, there’s a relationship and trust there already, and what he’s going to be able to provide for our middle infield especially, and overall the infield, I think is super important. … He’s earned this.”

And while working at the highest level may be a new challenge, Odor feels confident as he prepares because of the help the Guardians give the coaching staff.

“We have a lot of people in the front office that are trying to make our job easier,” Odor said. “They give us a lot of information. And I believe I need as much information as I can and simplify it to the players. The preparation is unbelievable and the information we get is unreal.”

After over 35 years in the minors and countless former players and a family member in MLB, Odor will make his Major League debut in 2024.