Guardians’ new manager Vogt rounds out staff | News, Sports, Jobs

Guardians’ new manager Vogt rounds out staff | News, Sports, Jobs

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Guardians manager Stephen Vogt rounded out his first staff, retaining Sandy Alomar Jr. and Carl Willis — two long-tenured coaches under former manager Terry Francona.

Vogt was hired this month by Cleveland despite not having any managing experience. He’ll have continuity in Alomar, who will coach first base and the catchers, along with Willis, who has had a major impact in the Guardians developing one of baseball’s best pitching staffs.

A six-time All-Star catcher with Cleveland, the popular Alomar has been on the team’s staff for 15 seasons, and Willis has been with the team for 14. They were instrumental in helping Francona, who stepped away after leading the Guardians to the playoffs six times in 11 seasons.

Also, Chris Valaika is returning for his third season as Cleveland’s hitting coach.

“It was paramount to have them come back,” Vogt said of the holdovers. “Especially the experience levels of Carl and Sandy and their wealth of knowledge and just their love for Cleveland and the players here. They’re going to be a huge, huge help for me.

“And bringing Chris back and having the continuity with the hitting group just going into this year I think was really important. So really feel good about everybody who’s coming back as well as the new guys.”

Vogt also appointed Craig Albernaz his bench coach, replacing DeMarlo Hale, who was recently named Toronto’s associate manager.

It’s a quick change for Albernaz, San Francisco’s bullpen coach last season who was hired as a major league field coordinator for Cleveland a few weeks back.

Vogt and Albernaz have known each other since playing in the minor leagues together. Vogt said a healthy relationship between the manager and bench coach is vital.

“He’s going to push me. He’s going’s going to challenge me in a lot of ways,” Vogt said. “He’s going to support me, but it’s not always going to be easy. And to have somebody that I know very well personally, and somebody who’s pushed me my entire career is going to continue to do that, and I want to do that for him.”

Kai Correa, who spent the past four seasons as San Francisco’s bench coach, will be Cleveland’s field coordinator. The 35-year-old was the Giants’ interim manager for the final three games this season.

The Guardians also promoted Rouglas Odor to infield coach — Vogt said Odor will also handle third base — and Brad Goldberg to bullpen coach.

Former third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh left the organization after three decades.

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