Miami Marlins Staff Still Lacking Bench CoachBy
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After hiring Tino Martinez as their hitting coach last week, the Marlins’ on field staff is beginning to take shape. New manager Mike Redmond will have fielding guru Perry Hill back as the first base coach, with Joe Espada returning as the third base coach. Reid Cornelius, the former Marlins hurler who has been the team’s bullpen coach for the past few seasons, will be returning to the staff in some capacity, either as the pitching coach or bullpen coach. With the exception of Perry Hill, all of these coaches have one thing in common: relative inexperience.
Hill, of course, has been with the Marlins on multiple tours of duty and has been coaching for some time. Beyond Hill, Reid Cornelius and Joe Espada are the two most experienced coaches on the staff, with both having been minor league coaches until their promotions for the 2010 season. Martinez is a first year coach, whose prior experience includes Spring Training special instructor and YES Network color commentator, and Redmond has two years of managerial experience in A-ball under his belt. The bench coach position is an important hire for the Marlins, and they would be wise to go with an experienced hand in the position.
Recently it was reported that Redmond had mentioned Don Wakamatsu as a possibility. Wakamatsu is a former big league manager and is currently the bench coach for Toronto. Joe Frisaro recently noted Ron Hassey as a name that could merit consideration. Hassey is currently the Marlins’ AAA manager and was a big league coach in the mid-1990s as well as the Mariners’ bench coach from 2005-2006.
Beyond those names, however, the others that have been surfacing are more inexperienced names. In the same article, Frisaro mentions Mike Mordecai, Andy Fox, and Dave Berg. Mordecai managed for a year in the minors with the Marlins organization before going to coach high school baseball. Berg is currently a manager in the Marlins’ system. Fox, the most experienced of the group, was a Marlins first base coach from 2007-2009, but the team fired him after the season. A final name that has come up is Mike Lowell; MLB Network Radio noted that Redmond and Lowell made an agreement to name each other bench coaches if and when one of them became a manager.
With such an inexperienced staff, the Marlins would do well to find an experienced coach to sit alongside Mike Redmond in 2013. There are plenty of former managers – Jerry Manuel, Larry Bowa, Willie Randolph, Jerry Narron – who would likely appreciate an opportunity to rebuild their reputation and take the reigns as bench coach. Given the overwhelming youth of the coaches, this team could use a baseball lifer on the bench.