The Boston Red Sox named bench coach Ron Roenicke interim manager Tuesday, with top team officials calling him a respected person in baseball and one who's already been a big part of the team's success.
The 63-year-old former MLB outfielder joined Alex Cora's staff as the Red Sox' bench coach in 2018, winning a World Series title in his first year with the team. It's his second time managing an MLB team, after a four-year stint leading the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I'm really looking forward to this year," Roenicke said at his introduction Tuesday, right before spring training begins.
His appointment resolves a key uncertainty going into spring training. The team parted ways with Cora last month after he was implicated in Major League Baseball's investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing system in 2017.
The league continues an investigation into Boston's 2018 team for possible sign stealing.
Roenicke said he couldn't comment on the investigation while it's going on, but did say his immediate aim is to focus the team.
"The focus is going to be on moving forward and trying to have that great season that we know we're capable of," the interim manager said.
The team won't revisit Roenicke's interim status until after the investigation is complete, Red Sox Chief of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom said.
"We have no reason to think that there would be anything to cause an adverse result in this investigation for Ron," he said.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said last week he hoped the investigation would be done before spring training. Red Sox pitchers and catchers reported spring training in Fort Myers Tuesday.
Roenicke was Boston's most polished internal candidate, with 673 games of big-league manager experience with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 to 2015. He guided Milwaukee to a .508 winning percentage in that span and finished second in National League Manager of the Year voting in 2011.