Former Rays Martinez, Dietrich visit Trop with Marlins

Former Rays Martinez, Dietrich visit Trop with Marlins

ST. PETERSBURG -- Miami showed up at Tropicana Field with a healthy dose of Tampa Bay flavor on its roster.

Former Rays first baseman Tino Martinez is the Marlins' hitting coach and former Tampa Bay pitching coach Chuck Hernandez is Miami's pitching coach.

Casey Kotchman is on the team, but he is on the disabled list. The rest of the list of former Rays includes Justin Ruggiano, Nick Green, Chad Qualls and Derek Dietrich.

"It's quite a homecoming," said Rays manager Joe Maddon of the contingent.

Ruggiano noted that it was always nice to visit Tropicana Field.

"So many memories here and good memories, especially the playoffs and all of that stuff," Ruggiano said. "It's always great to come back here."

Dietrich never played in the Major Leagues for the Rays, but he was drafted by Tampa Bay out of Georgia Tech, and he advanced through the Rays' organization until he was traded in December for Yunel Escobar.

"The trade was a blessing, and I knew right away I had a chance to help the Marlins," Dietrich said. "I'm happy to be here, happy to have the chance to do this every day. This is what I've worked for, and I've enjoyed the ride so far."

Dietrich said it was special to play against the Rays.

"Tampa [Bay] was my first organization," he said. "They gave me my first opportunity. And no doubt I grew as a person. I grew as a player in the organization. And yeah, it will be nice to come back and see some of the guys that I know and some of the people I know. But I'm happy to be a Marlin and happy with the opportunity I have each and every day to help out on this side."

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