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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Athletics manager search: Mark Kotsay, Joe Espada, Will Venable among A’s candidates, per report

Here, via The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli and Ken Rosenthal, are the six managerial candidates the A’s either have interviewed or will interview soon. Other names could always be added to this list in the future:

Darren Bush, A’s hitting coach
Joe Espada, Astros bench coach
Marcus Jenson, A’s bullpen coach
Mark Kotsay, A’s third base coach
Matt Quatraro, Rays bench coach
Will Venable, Red Sox bench coach
Kotsay, Quatraro, and Venable have all already interviewed, reports Ghiroli. Espada and Quatraro are also candidates for the Mets open managerial position. The common thread among all these candidates is no previous managerial experience. They’d all be rookie MLB skippers, which is not something that spooks teams as much as it once did.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics

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   1. You can keep your massive haul Posted: December 07, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6056521)
Joe Espada, Astros bench coach

No Astros please
   2. GregD Posted: December 07, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6056525)
that was my same reaction
   3. Walt Davis Posted: December 07, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6056536)
Marcus Jenson, A’s bullpen coach

I assume that's former ML catcher Marcus Jensen, not Jenson. Oakland native as it turns out -- won't do him much good in Vegas. :-) Seems unlikely a guy would jump from bullpen coach to manager but it's been 15 years since he played at any level so I assume he has plenty of other coaching experience.

   4. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: December 07, 2021 at 09:02 PM (#6056574)
I've heard of some of those guys.
   5. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: December 08, 2021 at 04:57 AM (#6056600)
Seems unlikely a guy would jump from bullpen coach to manager

Seems like the single strategic skill/knowledge set that a manager can bring to the table (other than generic people skills) is knowledge of how to use the bullpen, so maybe bullpen coach is a good training ground. It would be a little weird, it would be like Mark Cresse getting promoted to manager instead of someone like Mike Scioscia - though at least Marcus Jensen had a major league career as a (backup) catcher. And of course, many manager have a playing career background as (backup) catchers.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6056718)
But "bullpen coach" is not usually a guy that makes or even contributes to decisions on bullpen strategy. His job is to answer the phone, tell so-and-so to get up, maybe makes a decision on whether that guy is ready yet. It's frequently a recently retired catcher who spends part of his time catching the guys warming up and working with the team's catchers. It's the low rung on the "standard" coaching ladder, at best a role to start learning the ropes and moving up the ladder.

Like I said, Jensen has presumably been coaching for most of the last 15 years. His Wiki page says he's been in the A's org the whole time, maanaged their rookie league team for 4 years, has been roving hitting instructor and was asst hitting coach on the ML team. (But no updates since 2014) So he's not your typical bullpen coach at this point, it's probably more a case of "here's an existing job title where we can hold onto this guy without dumping one of the other coaches we want to hold onto."

Henry Blanco last played in 2013, got cut by the DBacks in spring 2014 and grabbed a coaching spot with them. He was grabbed by the Cubs to be their "quality assurance coach." When Martinez got hired by the Nats, he took Blanco with him to be bullpen coach and he's still in that role.

B-R list of current coaches

I will say most of the recognizable names in that list are a good bit older than I'd have guessed (Mike Harkey!) Juan Nieves has been at this for 30 years (assistant/minor-league pitching coach). There are more "assistant pitching coaches" here than I realized.

Anyway, bench coach to manager is typical (as is recently-fired manager to bench coach). PItching, 1st, 3rd-base coach to manager is pretty common. Minor-league manager to major-league manager used to be common, not sure it is anymore. Maybe going direct from bullpen coach to manager happens more than I think but I assume most of them move up the ladder before going to the top. Granted, these days I wouldn't be surprised if they named somebody from HR to be manager.
   7. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: December 09, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6056857)
Granted all that. It's weird that though he's managed in the minors, he's been the bullpen coach in the majors. Still, he's from Oakland (would being from Las Vegas be better?), and has managed to stay in the same organization for a long time, which perhaps shows some positive attributes, plus he's worked a lot with relief pitchers, which is so important in todays game. No telling which direction they will go.

I always thought Tony LaRussa was a marginal major league catcher, turns out he was a marginal major league 2nd baseman.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: December 09, 2021 at 10:38 PM (#6056864)
Maybe going direct from bullpen coach to manager happens more than I think

Kevin Cash was working as the Indians bullpen coach when he was hired by the Rays. Perhaps the A's are just looking at this as a rate hire, rather than a counting one.

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