RailRiders manager Al Pedrique joins Athletics as coach; Yankees announce Aaron Boone hire

By DJ Eberle - [email protected] | December 4th, 2017 4:51 pm

Al Pedrique is getting another shot to coach in the bigs.

But just not with the New York Yankees.

The Oakland Athletics named the former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders manager their new first base coach on Monday. Pedrique will also work with the infielders, something he did while he was with the RailRiders.

The 57-year-old coach goes to the Athletics with some base coaching experience. Pedrique also coached third while he was with the RailRiders and the Houston Astros in 2009.

“What he’s going to bring is consistency. He’s going to be the same guy every day,” RailRiders hitting coach P.J. Pilittere said. “He’s very diligent worker. He’s there early. Cares about the players. He cares enough about the guys to get to know them on a personal basis as well, which is easy to garner trust from your players in a timely fashion when you’re that kind of structure.With the A’s being a younger franchise — or a younger roster — right now, he’s going to do a good job helping them along the way because he’s so good at building relationships with young guys and helping them develop.”

“I think that he’s extremely fit for any position on a Major League staff, from manager to whatever the heck the next option is. Al’s amazing,” former RailRiders catcher Eddy Rodriguez said.

The move comes just two days after reports broke that the Yankees would be naming Aaron Boone their new manager, which became official on Monday. Pedrique had said he wanted to get back to the big, but never interviewed for the opening with New York.

H led the Yankees Triple-A affiliate to back-to-back International League North Division titles and Governors’ Cup Finals appearances and both Governors’ Cup and Triple-A National Championship titles in his two seasons with the RailRiders.

Pedrique was also named the league’s Manager of the Year each of the last two seasons.

The news was bittersweet for Pilittere when Pedrique reached out to him Monday afternoon.

Pilittere and Pedrique’s coaching relationship dates back to 2013. The two have spent four of the last five seasons together at four different levels within the Yankees’ farm system.

Aside from spending 2017 together, Pilittere was the hitting coach for Double-A Trenton in 2015, while Pedrique was managing the team. They were also together in 2014 and 2013 with High-A Tampa and Single-A Charleston — Pilittere as the hitting coach and Pedrique as the manager for both — respectively.

“Obviously bittersweet because just not being able to work with the guy that’s been nothing but first class. Nothing but very, very instrumental in my progression as a coach and as an instructor,” Pilittere said. “He’s the best in the business — the best I’ve ever worked for — when it comes to empowering his coaches, empowering his players, letting us be ourselves, letting us do our job. Extremely, extremely happy for him to get a chance to get back to the big leagues again. I know that was a goal of his.”

While waiting to hear from the Yankees about his future with the organization, Pedrique thanked the franchise for giving him the opportunity to get back into the game in 2013 after an eight-year hiatus.

“I’m very thankful to the organization because they gave me the opportunity in 2013 to get back into the game and working with all of those kids that have made it to the Major Leagues has been a pleasure and a great experience for me,” Pedrique said back in November.

Yankees make it official

Boone becomes the organization’s 33rd manager after signing a three-year with a team option in 2021.

“Words cannot express how humbled I am to wear the pinstripes again as manager of the Yankees,” Boone said in a press release. “I want to thank the Steinbrenner family and Brian Cashman for entrusting with this tremendous honor and responsibility. I believe we are entering a special time in New York Yankees history, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get to work — and the work starts now.”

Pilittere, who hasn’t learned his role for the upcoming season yet and is in a “wait and see” mode, has heard “nothing but great things” about the new Yankees manager.

“His career speaks for itself. And his teammates and colleagues have said about him obviously hold a lot of weight,” Pilittere said. “We’re a really proud franchise and for us to extend that invitation — or opportunity — to him to be the next manager of the New York Yankees obviously says a lot about him in just that capacity.”

The Oakland Athletics announced former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders manager Al Pedrique as their new first base coach on Monday. Pedrique has spent the last two seasons as the RailRiders’ manager.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Al-Pedrique-CMYK.jpgThe Oakland Athletics announced former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders manager Al Pedrique as their new first base coach on Monday. Pedrique has spent the last two seasons as the RailRiders’ manager. Fred Adams file photo | For Times Leader

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle