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Oakland A’s announce 2021 coaching staff, with new role for Mark Kotsay

Almost everyone is back from the 2020 staff

Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s announced their 2021 coaching staff on Thursday, and almost everyone is back from last year.

The only member of manager Bob Melvin’s 2020 staff who is not returning is third base coach Al Pedrique. That’s not news, as it was reported in late October, but now it’s official and Pedrique is gone after three seasons with the club.

That subtraction left an open role at third base, and it will be filled from within. Mark Kotsay, previously in a role called Quality Control Coach, will take over as the new 3B coach. He’ll also split the infield and defensive positioning duties with Eric Martins.

Here’s the full 2021 staff:

  • Manager: Bob Melvin
  • Bench: Ryan Christenson
  • 1st base: Mike Aldrete
  • 3rd base: Mark Kotsay
  • Pitching: Scott Emerson
  • Bullpen: Marcus Jensen
  • Hitting: Darren Bush
  • Asst Hitting: Eric Martins

There’s a lot of experience in that group, and a lot of time spent wearing green and gold. Bush has been in his role the longest, and he’s now the longest-tenured hitting coach in Oakland history at seven years (he was also bullpen coach for two years before that).

Aldrete and Jensen have been on the MLB staff for seven years, though they’ve each spent time in various different positions during that time. This will be Jensen’s fourth year in the bullpen, and Aldrete’s second at 1B.

Emerson is also entering his seventh year on the staff, and his 19th in the organization overall. He took over as pitching coach in mid-2017. Christenson will spend his fourth straight year as the bench coach, and his 16th overall in the org including his old playing days as an outfielder.

The most recent addition is Martins, who became the assistant hitting coach last year and remains there for a second straight summer. However, while he’s relatively new to the MLB bench, his 21 years in the A’s org (including seven as a minor league player) are the most on the staff.

As for Kotsay, it wasn’t guaranteed that he’d still be here in 2021. He’s long been on the league’s radar as a potential future manager, and indeed he was interviewed by the Tigers this winter for their open job before they chose someone else as their new skipper.

Analysis: The A’s have gone to the postseason the last three years with basically this coaching staff, so let’s run it back for another go. I’m surely not alone in saying that I trust Bob Melvin about as much as any sports fans trust their team’s manager, and as outsiders we have no real idea of what each coach brings to the table or how to grade their performances, so I have no specific complaints about his crew. I also enjoy having fun former A’s like Aldrete, Christenson, and Kotsay, all of whom I especially liked as players.

Welcome back, coaches!