Second hitting coach could be beneficial
MIAMI — The time may be right for the Marlins to follow a growing MLB trend. Being shut out four times in their first nine games suggests it. But more importantly, the direction the club is heading increases the need for another set of eyes and insights.
A number of teams have already added a second hitting coach. Perhaps the Marlins should join the list.
To make this perfectly clear, this suggestion is not in any way being critical of Tino Martinez, Miami’s first-year hitting coach. It’s just that so much is on the plate for any one hitting coach in terms of the demands on his time, and his resources.
Martinez is in the cages with players a couple of hours before batting practice begins on the field. And he has to break down video and work with each individual.
When it comes to the Marlins, there is even a bigger issue at play. The team has so many young, unproven players. This isn’t a veteran club, like the Yankees, who have established players with long big league track records. Players with histories of knowing how to work through struggles may not need as much hands-on attention.
Young teams do.
The Marlins staff is being asked to teach, instruct as well as strategize. With developing so much a part of their job description, it would be in the best interests of all involved to bring in another coach.
The bullpen coach basically is a second pitching coach. Why not the same philosophy with hitting?
If you are looking for an example of where two hitting instructors is working, check out the Cardinals. John Mabry is the hitting coach, and Bengie Molina is the assisting hitting coach.
The topic of two hitting coaches was discussed on MLB Network Radio on Friday during their “Ripken Baseball” show.
St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday was a guest and he gave his endorsement — pointing out a second opinion often is helpful. Holliday also noted that hitting coaches spend so much time in the batting cages that they often are stretched thin.
In the case of the Cardinals, they break it down even more. You have two former big leaguers as hitting coaches, and each one batted from a different side of the plate. You have the left-handed hitting Mabry and right-handed hitting Molina offering two perspectives.
If you look at the Marlins lineup, you have so much inexperience. Even Giancarlo Stanton, the team’s top offensive threat, has less than three years of big league service time. And you have youngsters like Adeiny Hechavarria, Donovan Solano and Rob Brantly who have yet to play a full season in the big leagues.
Again, this isn’t to say that Martinez can’t handle the job by himself. But there is precedent for another voice.
If a classy-club like the Cardinals see benefit, why not the Marlins?
— Joe Frisaro