KEVIN FORREST CASH
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   MANAGER
Home: Oldsmar, Florida Team:   RAYS
Height: 6' 0" Bats:   R
Weight: 190 Throws:   R
DOB: 12/6/1977 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Tampa, Florida
Draft: 1999 - Blue Jays - Free agent
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2000 SAL HAGERSTOWN     196 28 48 10 1 10 27 5   22 54     .245
2001 FSL DUNEDIN   105 371 55 105 27 0 12 66 4   43 80     .283
2002 SL TENNESSEE   55 213 38 59 15 1 8 44 5   36 44     .277
2002 IL SYRACUSE   67 236 27 52 18 0 10 26 0   25 72     .220
2002 AL BLUE JAYS   7 14 1 2 0 0 0 0 0   1 4     .143
2003 IL SYRACUSE   93 326 37 88 28 2 8 37 1   29 81     .270
2003 AL BLUE JAYS $300.00 34 106 10 15 3 0 1 8 0   4 22     .142
2004 AL BLUE JAYS $302.00 60 181 18 35 9 0 4 21 0   10 59     .193
2005 AL DEVIL RAYS $328.00 13 31 4 5 1 0 2 2 0   1 13     .161
2005 IL DURHAM   42 147 25 43 10 0 9 27 0   12 42     .293
2006 IL DURHAM   78 240 17 44 10 1 2 21 1 2 24 74   .258 .183
2007 AL RED SOX   12 27 2 3 1 0 0 4 0 0 4 13 .242 .148 .111
2007 IL PAWTUCKET   59 176 22 31 7 0 7 25 0 0 23 56 .276 .335 .176
2008 AL RED SOX $400.00 61 142 11 32 7 0 3 15 0 0 18 50 .309 .338 .225
2009 AL YANKEES   10 26 1 6 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 5 .250 .308 .231
2009 IL SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE   23 68 7 15 1 0 2 9 0 0 9 23 .312 .324 .221
2010 NYP LOWELL   1 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .500 .250
2010 IL PAWTUCKET   1 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .250
2010 PCL ROUND ROCK   10 34 3 8 0 0 0 4 0 0 3 10 .297 .235 .235
2010 AL ASTROS   20 54 3 11 1 0 2 4 0 0 5 13 .271 .333 .204
2010 AL RED SOX   29 60 1 8 1 0 0 1 0 0 6 16 .224 .150 .133
2011 PCL ROUND ROCK   85 291 36 71 15 2 6 45 0 1 44 63 .350 .371 .244
Personal
    • Baseball in the Cash home has truly been a life-long labor of love. Kevin, Patsy said, was into the game from the minute he could pick up a bat. He excelled in his early years, but things began to level off in high school. Cash's peers were growing quickly, but he was straining to catch up.

"I was pretty good when I was young but then I hit the period when everybody hit their growth spurt. And I didn't. I was a late bloomer, I guess," he said. "My parents never let on that they were a little worried. I wasn't catching up or keeping up with my buddies. That may have worried them a little bit, but they were always very supportive and never let me know they were concerned."

  • Kevin had the support of his entire family from the Little League on up.

    "We didn't play ball in the house too much, but Little League baseball was an everyday thing in our house. After we got home from school, it was time to go to the field, take batting practice," he said recently. "Even if you didn't have a game that night, it was go hang out at the ballpark. You could always find one of our family members there.

    "Mom was always driving, and my dad coached me until I got to a certain age. Then he started coaching my brother. It's called North Side Little League, and we were probably there five nights a week." (Spencer Fordin-MLB.com-5/9/04)

  • Cash was not drafted after his junior year at Florida State. But former Blue Jays scout Ted Lekas had seen Kevn play at FSU and decided to follow him to the Cape Cod League in 1999. Catchers were in demand in the majors, and the Blue Jays were experimenting with position players behind the plate. Cashe fit what Lekas was looking for.

    Lekas approached Cash's Cape Cod league manager, Jeff Trundy, on a day when both of his catchers were sidelined. "Just two innings and move Cash back," Lekas pleaded to his friend. Trundy obliged and put the unsuspecting third baseman behind the plate. In that first appearance, Kevin threw out two baserunners. Not too many weeks later, the Blue Jays signed Cash as a free agent.

  • Kevin started his pro career in Dunedin, Florida, working with Ernie Whitt, Blue Jays catching icon in Toronto. Whitt, working as a catching instructor for the organization, introduced Cash to life as a catcher.

    "He came down there and for the first ten days or two weeks, I absolutely hated it," Cash admits. "I was getting thumbed a lot and I was catching pitches that I just wasn't used to doing. My thumb was killing me so bad I couldn't even take batting practice, so I wasn't crazy about it. But then he taught me a couple of little tricks, and I kind of overcame that stuff. I went to instructional ball and caught every single game.

    The 2000 season was his first year playing minor league ball, for the Hagerstown Suns (SAL-Blue Jays).

  • He is a real gamer who doesn't want to take a day off. Cash is a leader. He has very good makeup. And he exhibits good baseball instincts.

  • Kevin does a lot of preparation to catch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, every day. Between Wake's starts on many days, Cash is in the bullpen with the pitching machine, which is fed rag balls made of a sticky, carpetlike material.

    "What happens is, they stick to the machine as they go through, so they come out like a kuckleball," Cash explained. "It's not as good as Wake's, of course, but they move a lot. And when you think about it, how else can you practice catching a knuckleball?"

    Kevin does another drill barehanded. He catches miniature balls (about the size of a gumball) tossed to him rapid-fire.

    "It's just keeping your hand-eye coordination sharp," Cash said. "With a knuckleball, no one knows where it is going. You have to wait on it. You wait to move the glove at the last second, or else it's going by you." (Sean Deveney-Sports Illustrated-5/226/08)

  • Cash was a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox and then the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees.

    So, Cash, like Babe Ruth and Johnny Damon and a select few others, will always be able to say he won World Series championships while playing for the sport's two biggest rivals.

    "I really enjoyed my time with both of them," said Kevin, who last week received a call from the Yankees to get his ring size. "I don't know how many people have World Series rings with both of them, but that's pretty exciting."

    Cash didn't actually appear in a World Series game for the Red Sox or Yankees, which cost him a chance to be in another exclusive club: Players who've appeared in the Little League World Series, the College World Series and the Fall Classic. But he has World Championship rings from both the Red Sox and Yankees.

    Cash played in 11 games for the Red Sox in 2007 but wasn't on the postseason roster. He appeared in only 10 games for the Yankees in 2009 before a shoulder injury cut short his season. He did go 1-for-3 in the 2008 ALCS for Boston against Tampa Bay.

  • While catchers typically comprise just eight percent of a Major League roster, a stunning 63 percent of World Series-winning managers since 1996—12 of 19—have been former backstops.

    "I don't necessarily think you're going to be a good manager just because you're a catcher, but those numbers? I guess they don't lie," said Cash, who said he was unaware of the data before being told midway through 2015 spring training.

    "I just think it's unique that catcher is the one position on the field that you have a different view from everybody else. You have eight position players looking in at you, and there's so much detail now that goes into the pitcher-catcher relationship and game-planning for hitters. It really forces catchers, and good catchers, to really think," added Cash.

    Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre personally represents 4 of the 12 World Series winners in question, and he didn't hesitate when asked for an explanation of the statistical skew.

    "Well, we're smarter than most people," laughed Torre, who spent the first 10 seasons of his career catching for the Braves and Cardinals. I'm kidding, obviously, but I am a little biased. Catchers just have to know more about what's going on. They're the only guys that stand back there and don't have to do this [turns his head from side-to-side] to see everyone on the field. They just look straight out and they see the game develop.

    "Pitching is such a big part of the game, and I think catchers have more conversations with managers and pitching coaches than anybody else on the field, so you get knowledge by mistake," he continued. "Essentially, I think that catchers probably study the game more so than position players."

    And what does Torre think of the Rays' decision to hire the 37-year-old Cash?

    "I had a conversation with Kevin at the Winter Meetings and I really liked his enthusiasm," Torre said. "It's exciting for me to watch and observe the young guys when they start out, and even to watch them make mistakes and learn from them. He was a backup catcher for most of his career, and those guys usually have to work very hard."

    Any concerns about Cash's age?

    "When I first started managing, I was 36 years old and I'd lay in bed at night saying 'I wish I didn't do that and I wish I didn't do this' and then you get to the point where you get tired of blaming yourself, and you go learn from the stuff you did," Torre said.

    "Kevin's got the knowledge and the energy it takes to succeed. I'm sure he'll do just fine." (Michael Kolligan - MLB.com - March 14, 2015)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • December 12, 2004: The Devil Rays sent P Chad Gaudin to the Blue Jays, acquiring Cash.
  • January 24, 2007: Cash signed with the Red Sox organization.
  • December 12, 2008: The Red Sox didn't tender Kevin a contract for 2009, making him a free agent.
  • December 24, 2008: Cash signed with the Yankees. His one-year contract was for $700,000 if added to the 40-man roster.
  • September 5, 2009: The Yankees released Cash.
  • January 22, 2010: Kevin signed with the Astros organization.
  • July 1, 2010: The Red Sox sent INF Angel Sanchez to the Astros, acquiring Cash.
  • November 7, 2010: Kevin signed with the Rangers organization.
Batting
  • Cash shows excellent power. The ball jumps off his bat. He hits the ball all over the field. Some go out of the park.
  • Kevin knows the strike zone. He doesn't swing at very many pitches out of the strike zone. He will accept a walk.
  • He tends to fight himself when he is struggling at the plate. That only extends his slumps.
  • In 2003, the Blue Jays worked with Cash to get him to stay up the middle and go the other way with his swing. A more balanced, more consistent swing is the goal.

    "He's got good power to left. We want to see him covering the middle [of the plate] to the outer third. We think he can get to the point where he's hitting to center and right and if he gets a pitch inside, he just drops his hands and the ball goes out of the yard," Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said.

  • During the off-season before 2004 Spring Training, Blue Jays batting coach Mike Barnett worked on Kevin's swing. They spent five days a week working on Barnett's mechanical changes at the Blue Jays' spring facility in Dunedin, Florida.

    Using a combination of soft-toss, batting practice and breaking ball pitching machines, Cash learned to slow down his swing, control his body better and wait for the ball to come to him.

     "We simplified things," said Barnett. "He's setting up on his backside, basically his stride is just a little gather, the stand he's in is extended. Now he's back behind the ball and able to use his hands."

    On some days, he would take 150 swings against the curve ball machine in the morning, take some live BP, do some drills, then take another 150 cuts versus the machine. (Canoe-4/17/04)

  • Cash is learning to put the ball in play more. He has learned to be patient at the plate without compromising his aggressiveness at bat.

  • As of the start of the 2011 season, Cash's career numbers: .183 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI in 641 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Kevin was a third baseman all through college at Florida State. But the summer before his senior year, he was playing for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod Leaguer and both his team's catchers were injured. He strapped on a mask and caught. He had never caught before, but threw out two basestealers.

    Blue Jays scouting director Tim Wilken was at those games and later signed him as a free agent . . . as a catcher.

  • Most of the time, the positional switch works the other way: Catchers move out from behind the plate and go on to productive careers elsewhere. It's not unprecedented, but it's certainly rare for the move to work this way. Interestingly, Cash said things couldn't have worked any other way for him.

    "Watching third basemen and shortstops at this level, I definitely wouldn't have been able to compete with them," Cash said. "I didn't have the speed, so that's why it flip-flopped for me. I wasn't ever very fast, but they saw I had a good arm and hid me behind the plate."

    (Some prominent exceptions to the rule come to mind. New York's Jorge Posada was a middle infielder before the Yankees turned him into a backstop. Mike Heath was a shortstop in high school, but he ended up catching more than 1,000 games in the Major Leagues).

  • Cash has a very good arm and fine quickness behind the plate. He has excellent catch-and-throw skills. with the footwork and quck release to shut down the running game.
  • Cash has learned a lot about catching from former Major League backstop Ernie Whitt, a Blue Jay minor league instructor. Kevin works well with a pitching staff and is learning to call a very good game.
  • "The most challenging thing is being able to work with the pitching staff and game-calling and stuff like that," Cash said. "Catching, once you learn to block balls, how to receive pitches the right way, you learn it and then you get it down. But game-calling always changes. There’s never one set way to do it, and being consistent in doing it so the pitchers feel confident in throwing to me."
  • Cash has real good awareness back there. He gives a good target and emphasizes the location of pitches.

    THROWING OUT BASE-STEALERS

  • In 2001, Kevin threw out 56 percent of Florida State League runners trying to nab a base, tops in the loop.

    In 2002, he erased 41 percent of base-stealers in the Southern League, then upped that mark to 46 percent in Triple-A.

    In 2003, while with the Syracuse SkyChiefs (IL-Blue Jays), Kevin threw out exactly one-half (34 of 68) of potential base-thieves. While with the Blue Jays, Cash threw out 6 of 20, 30 percent who were attempting to steal a base.

    In 2004, Kevin threw out over 40 percent of runners attempting to steal against him.

  • Former Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said that Cash's defense is already beyond reproach. He just needs to see some improvements on the offensive end of his game.
  • Joining the Red Sox organization before 2007 spring training, Kevin was asked to adapt his game to catching a knuckleballer, Charlie Zink of the Pawtucket Red Sox (IL). Then, in the spring of 2008, Cash was catching Tim Wakefield in big league camp, doing a good enough job to replace Doug Mirabelli as Jason Varitek's backup.

    "With Wake or with any knuckleballer, you don't really think what you're doing," Cash said. "You know a knuckle ball is coming, so it's all about relaxing your body enough and your hands to give yourself as much mobility as possible because it's such an unpredictable pitch, with the movement.

    "If you go in knowing to be loose, and that you're going to miss some balls, that's just the way it goes."

  • Dec 2, 2016: Ask Kevin Cash what advice he'd give someone who's about to take over a Major League team and who's never managed at any level, and there's little hesitation. "Prepare yourself for the unexpected," Cash said, followed by a chuckle.Cash, of course, is that person. He took over the Rays two years ago and had never even managed a Little League team.

    Now, Cash is approaching his third season as Tampa Bay's manager, and he is the first to tell you that preparing for the unexpected is virtually impossible. He's still MLB's youngest skipper.At times during Cash's rookie year, the Rays played like a contender. Most of the summer, he pushed the right buttons. Tampa Bay ended 80-82, and there was enormous optimism for 2016. But the unexpected took over.

    "We were all disappointed the way our season took shape and frankly finished up," said Cash, Optimism for 2016 was built around the Rays' pitching, which has been their trademark for over a decade. Archer, a 2015 All-Star, was expected to lead the way. Instead, the 28-year-old right-hander lost 19 times against nine wins. Even with those disappointing numbers, Archer had at least 30 starts for the third consecutive season. 

    "The entire starting pitching staff seemed to struggle over a one-month stand," Cash said. "When that happened and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier was lost for 48 games with a broken hand, we were challenged in more ways than one and could never overcome it."  Starting pitching. "Say it again," echoed Cash. "That was our backbone last year, and it will be our backbone coming into this year. With the Winter Meetings next week, everyone says it's a luxury to be deep in starting pitching because we can use them in possible trades. Trade one or two of them. "I have no idea if we're going to do that, but I've learned over many years from extremely intelligent baseball people you can never have enough starting pitching.

    Regardless of how the Rays recast their team for 2017, Cash will be back and be even more comfortable as manager. "What would I tell a new manager?" Cash said. "You come into these jobs with genuine excitement. You have a plan and commit yourself to the plan, but what I've learned is you have to be prepared to adjust."You're going to work with 25 to 40 players, and you have to add in the coaches and trainers. What I've learned most is the way you communicate with them -- they are all different -- how they respond to different ways. When I look back, the in-game management, you can always question or second-guess and think through decisions after the fact.

    "But communicating with the players is always adjusting, and that's what I'd tell a young manager. You're dealing with human beings whose lives are constantly changing. Some are in a great spot because they're having success and their family life is great. Some are not in a great spot because their family life is not good and they're not having success on the field."

    Cash says the underlying lesson is that you have to constantly have different ways of connecting with the players."This job has more than lived up to its challenge and continues to do that," Cash said. "Out of respect to the job, though, I'll never say it's easier than I thought it would be." That's where the unexpected comes into play. (Hal Bodley - MLB.com - Dec 2, 2016)

Running

      POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS

  • 2012: Cash became an advance scout for the Blue Jays.
  • 2013: Kevin joined the Indians as Bullpen Coach.
  • December 5, 2014: The Rays hired Cash as their manager, replacing Joe Maddon, who left to manage the Cubs. Cash's contract was for five years for a total of about $55 million.

  • May 20, 2016: Kevin Cash achieved his 100th career managerial win as the Rays defeated the Tigers, 7-5, at Comerica Park.

    Cash, 38, reached the milestone in his 201st game as manager of the team, reaching triple digits faster than any skipper in club history.

    "Just an honor," said Cash, when asked what the milestone meant to him. "You don't want to dwell on too many personal accolades, but it is, it's an honor to say you're a big league manager."

    Lou Piniella was the previous record-holder, having reached the mark in his 235th game as the Rays' skipper.Over the last 25 years, only two managers have reached 100 wins at a younger age: Eric Wedge -- with Cleveland in 2004, at 26 years, 141 days -- and Buck Showalter -- with the Yankees in 1993, at 36 years, 364 days. (B Chaistain - MLB.com - May 21, 2016)

Career Injury Report
  • 2000: Cash missed a few weeks after he broke his hand on a foul tip.
  • May 26-June 10, 2004: Kevin was on the D.L. with a rib cage bone bruise.
  • March 26-May 7, 2005: Cash was playing with a nagging neck impingement and some tendinitis in his right shoulder. So he began the season on the D.L.
  • April 2009: Kevin went on the D.L. the second week of the season. He was out just over two weeks.
  • July 2009: Cash was on the D.L.
  • August 9-24, 2010: Kevin was on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring.