GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have found their point man for instant replay.
On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that it has hired Gregg Langbehn to serve as the club's Major League replay coordinator. As part of baseball's new instant-replay system, Langbehn's duties will involve monitoring plays in the clubhouse and relaying information to the dugout.
"It'll be our responsibility to communicate with him in a timely fashion," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And then we make our own decisions."
Langbehn, 43, spent eight years as a Minor League pitcher with the Mets, Red Sox and Brewers before moving into coaching and managing. He held various roles in Houston's farm system from 2001-08, during which he worked with Indians field coordinator Tom Wiedebauer and Alex Eckelman, who is now the advance scouting coordinator for Cleveland.
Over the past five years, Langbehn worked as the manager of the Traverse City Beach Bums in the independent Frontier League.
"We talked all winter about what qualities are you looking for," Francona said. "He's been a basketball referee, he's been a football referee and he's been a Minor League manager. We thought those were pretty good qualities. For the longest time we talked about, 'OK, is the technical [side] more important or the baseball part? We spent a significant amount of time talking about it."
Francona said there will be a learning curve for everyone under the new replay rules, which give a manager the ability to challenge a ruling. That makes Langbehn's job an important one, because there will be times when Francona will need to leave the dugout to argue while it is being assessed whether to challenge is in order.
"If there's something going on, I'm going to have to go out on the field," Francona said. "There's some instances where, if it's the third out of an inning, you need to go out to show the umpire you're thinking about it. If you don't, you lose your chance. There's some learning to do for sure."