Coaching Notes: Cora, Tigers, Johns, Rays, Albernaz, Guardians

MLB Trade Rumors

The Tigers will be hiring Joey Cora for their coaching staff, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (X link) reported earlier this week.  Cora has spent the last two seasons as the Mets’ third base coach, and he “is expected” to fill that same role in Motown, according to Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, who reports that current third base coach Gary Jones will remain on the staff in a new role.  However, that new position won’t be first base coach, as Petzold suggests that Triple-A manager Anthony Iapoce might take over first-base duties from the departing Alfredo Amezaga.

The 58-year-old Cora has 16 seasons’ worth of MLB coaching experience, coming on the heels of his 11 seasons as a Major League player from 1987-98.  Cora has worked as a bench coach and third base coach at the big league level, and is also known for his work as an infield instructor.  This is the first time Cora and Detroit manager A.J. Hinch have worked together, though Cora’s brother Alex worked as Hinch’s bench coach with the Astros before the younger Cora was hired as the Red Sox manager.

Catching up on some other coaching hires from the past week…

  • The Rays named Michael Johns as the club’s new first base coach.  (Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the day before the official announcement that Johns was the “likely choice” for the job.)  Johns will replace Chris Prieto as both the first base coach, and as a baserunning and outfield instructor.  This will be the first time the 48-year-old Johns has worked on a big league staff, though he has a wide range of experience as a coach, coordinator, and manager within Tampa’s farm system since the 2007-08 offseason.  Johns has managed five different Rays affiliates, including Triple-A Durham in 2023.
  • The Guardians announced that Craig Albernaz has been hired as their big league coaching staff’s new field coordinator.  Albernaz interviewed for the managerial vacancy that was filled by Stephen Vogt, though obviously Albernaz impressed the Guards enough to earn a spot in the organization.  The 41-year-old Albernaz played with Vogt when both were minor leaguers in the Rays farm system, and Albernaz went onto a five-season stint in Tampa’s organization as a coach, coordinator, and manager in the minors after ending his playing career.  For the last four seasons, Albernaz was the Giants’ bullpen coach.

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