GOODYEAR, Ariz.—One glance at Edwin Rodriguez’s resume, and it’s obvious he’s overqualified to still be bumping around dusty roads during eight-hour bus rides from one minor league town to another with a group of 20-somethings.
Rodriguez is coming off managing in the Puerto Rican League, followed by a stint taking Puerto Rico to the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. Yet the 52-year-old will call Double-A Akron home in 2013.
Rodriguez, a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, entered the Indians organization last year as manager at high Class A Carolina, so he’s moving up a level.
“He really is happy in the minor leagues,” farm director Ross Atkins said. “He’s not just doing it as a platform until he gets back to the major leagues. He’s not just biding his time. Although Edwin still has aspirations to get back to the majors someday, I’ve heard him say he’d be happy doing this the rest of his career if that ends up being the case.”
Wherever he has been in baseball and in whatever role, Rodriguez has enjoyed it. He played in the major leagues briefly over a three-year period (1982-85) after signing with the Yankees as an infielder in 1980. After his big league career ended, he became a fixture in the Puerto Rican League before returning to baseball as a scout for the Twins from 1989-1996.
After seven seasons as a scout, Rodriguez moved into the dugout, beginning in 1997 as the hitting coach for the then-Devil Rays’ Rookie-level Gulf Coast League team. He quickly moved up the ladder, starting as a manager at short-season Hudson Valley in 1999 and working his way up to Triple-A New Orleans in 2008.
Two years later he reached the big leagues and made history. On June 23, 2010, Rodriguez was named the interim manager for the Marlins (replacing manager Fredi Gonzalez), becoming the first Puerto Rican-born manager in the major leagues. He resigned in June 2011.
• The Indians added lefthander Rich Hill to the 40-man roster, and released outfielder Ben Francisco.
• Righthander Frank Herrmann had Tommy John surgery March 13 in New York, with the procedure performed by Dr. David Altchek. Herrmann will miss the 2013 season.