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Why Alex Cora has had an eye-opening few days

Rob Bradford
March 25, 2018 - 10:50 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In case Alex Cora was getting comfortable, along came last week.

The first-time manager was presented with a few unique scenarios in the last few days, two of them involving one roster spot. 

The first arrived Thursday when Brock Holt requested a meeting with Cora after being alerted by the media that he might be on the bubble when it came to a roster spot. (For more on that situation from Holt's perspective, click here.)

"It was good, man," Cora said. "That experience last year, I needed that. For however prepared I was without coaching a full season in the big leagues, in that position, those conversations were going to be awkward. It was natural. I don’t know if you guys notice, we have a couch there now in the office to make it more casual. It was a good conversation. He was honest. I was honest. And we move on. And he’s in a good place."

And then came Saturday, when, for the first time in his managerial career, Cora was forced to tell a roster candidate he was traded, informing Deven Marrero about his new home with the Diamondbacks.

"Yesterday with the Deven one, it's kind of ironic because Deven grew up in Miami and he used to go to this camp, Hardball, and they used to go to the games at UM [University of Miami] when I was playing and he was one of the kids, always around. To tell him he's been traded, it's like, this is weird, you know? But it's the first one of many, probably," Cora said. "But it was ironic that it was Deven Marrero. Happy for him. He's in a place that it seems like he's going to be a part of the big league roster and in the National League I think he'll be a good one. And he made strides, you know? He put up good at-bats at the end so I'm happy for him."

The roster shuffling and late spring training chaos is all new for Cora, who did say he wouldn't have been nearly as prepared for the dynamic without his experience as bench coach with Houston last season.

"It's been different. Honestly, I can't wait 'til Thursday," he said. "Let's play the games. Or 1:05. At 1:05 is when everything slows down. Can't meet with people. Nothing against them, but there's a lot of it going on, from 7 in the morning until late at night. Part of the business."