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Rays make flurry of hires, promotions

Rays make flurry of hires, promotions

ST. PETERSBURG -- After a week of organizational meetings, the Rays announced several hires and promotions Thursday. Of these, Tim Bogar's ranked as the most noteworthy, as he was announced as the team's seventh Major League coach.

Bogar's responsibilities are what make the hire interesting, since the innovative coaching slot will be an evolving position.

Bogar, 43, is entering his 20th season in professional baseball, fifth since his playing career ended. He will be in uniform during Spring Training and all pregame practices. His duties will include assisting with infield and baserunning instruction; serving as a liaison between the scouting department and the club, including series preparation; and coordinating Spring Training.

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"I think [the position] is something that is going to open up a lot of new opportunities to me," Bogar said. "[It] gives me an opportunity to understand the game and see it from different angles."

Bogar characterized the work he will be doing as providing another resource for Rays manager Joe Maddon to use in order "to be a better manager on the field."

"[I will] just be there and try to make Joe's job easier," Bogar said.

Maddon seemed excited about having Bogar aboard. Since Bogar will not dress out for games -- though he will serve as an on-the-field instructor prior to games -- he will sit in the stands during games and, among other things, scout the Rays like an opposing scout would do when preparing to play Tampa Bay.

"I've given him some ideas [about the position]," Maddon said. "And we'll let him define the role. ... I want him to run with it intellectually."

Bogar managed in the Indians (2006-07) and Astros (2004-05) organizations the past four seasons, during which time he compiled a 289-200 (.591) record and advanced to the postseason in three of his four seasons, while twice earning Manager of the Year honors.

Bogar spent nine seasons in the Majors with the Mets, Astros and Dodgers from 1993-2001 as a utility infielder. He started at all four infield positions throughout his Major League career and also appeared in two games in left field and pitched in a pair of games.

Hoping to improve the overall health of the organization, the Rays added an extra trainer when they promoted Minor League trainer Nick Paparesta to the position of Major League assistant athletic trainer, which gives the club a head trainer in Ron Porterfield, and a pair of assistants in Paparesta and Paul Harker.

Additionally, Mark Vinson was promoted to Minor League rehabilitation and athletic training coordinator; Jimmy Southard was promoted to Triple-A Durham trainer; Joel Smith was promoted to Double-A Montgomery trainer; Bill Evers and Joe Nigro were named professional scouts; Kevin Elfering was promoted to East Coast crosschecker; Evan Brannon (Florida territory), Jayson Durocher (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, El Paso) and Brian Hickman (Midwest) were named area scouts; and Scott Thurston was named Princeton (rookie) trainer.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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