For the first time in seven years, the Marlins are in need of a new major league manager following Don Mattingly’s departure. Fish Stripes will dedicate articles to each of the candidates who interview for the position.
Matt Quatraro entered the professional baseball world as part of the first MLB Draft class in Tampa Bay Devil Rays history. They selected the Old Dominion University catcher in the eighth round of the 1996 draft. Quatraro also occasionally played first base and left field during his minor league journey, slashing .286/.343/.416 in 415 games between rookie ball and Triple-A.
Quatraro concluded his playing career in 2003 at age 29 and began coaching within Tampa Bay’s farm system soon after. He was hired as the hitting coach for Short Season A Hudson Valley in 2004, then became manager of the affiliate in 2006 and held the same position at Low-A in 2008 and 2009. Notable prospects who played for Quatraro-led minor league teams include Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Stephen Vogt and—very briefly—Evan Longoria and Josh Hamilton.
From 2010-2013, Quatraro was the Rays minor league hitting coordinator. The Cleveland Indians pried him away in 2014 by making him their assistant hitting coach. The Rays lured him back for the 2018 season with a promotion to third base coach, and in 2019, he got another bump up to bench coach (his current position).
Quatraro shared a bit of his coaching philosophy during this interview with RaysRadio:
“That’s what coaching is—knowing the individual and trying to reach them, meet them somewhere along their journey that is helpful at that time, because things are not static. They change day to day, minute to minute, person to person.”
Quatraro has pursued major league managerial vacancies many times before. He interviewed with the Giants, Pirates, Tigers, Athletics and Mets, jobs that ultimately went to Gabe Kapler, Derek Shelton, A.J. Hinch, Mark Kotsay and Buck Showalter, respectively. During this current hiring cycle, he is also being considered by the Royals.
Craig Mish of SportsGrid describes Quatraro, Joe Espada and Skip Schumaker as the three “finalists” for Miami.
Even during the offseason, Quatraro’s family makes their home in St. Petersburg (near Tropicana Field).
Why would the Marlins want Matt Quatraro?
“The way he prepares, it’s a distant second to anybody I’ve ever been around,’’ Rays manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times in regards to Quatraro being named bench coach. “Ask anybody on our staff, they’re going to rave about him.”
The Rays have qualified for the postseason in all four of Quatraro’s seasons as Cash’s right-hand man. The 2021 team in particular featured the best offense in franchise history, helped by rookies like Wander Franco making smooth transitions to The Show and mid-career vets like Mike Zunino enjoying sudden breakouts.
Fun fact: Quatraro hit for the cycle in 1997 at Low-A. As many of you are surely aware, the Marlins are the only MLB franchise that is still cycle-less.
Why would Matt Quatraro want the Marlins job?
Quatraro is in the same phase of his coaching career as the other finalists, without much left to prove in his current role. As comfortable as he may be in St. Pete, he surely recognizes that Cash has tremendous job security. Quatraro won’t get the opportunity to lead his own team for the foreseeable future unless he relocates.
Would Matt Quatraro be a good hire for the Marlins?
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Not sure/no opinion