Developing a new Marlins Way
MIAMI — Naming Frank Menechino as their new hitting coach was step one. Next, the Marlins will be working towards establishing a new identity at the plate.
After finishing last in the Majors in runs scored, batting average, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, the Marlins will be striving to develop an organizational hitting identity.
Ideally, they’d like to establish a basic approach that can be adopted at all levels of their organization.
Menechino, who came highly recommended, spent the past five seasons as a hitting coach in the Yankees’ system.
With so many young players in their system, Menechino promises to do as much teaching and instructing as coaching. But he won’t be going at improving the offense alone.
New general manager Dan Jennings said organization will be having meetings before the start of Spring Training to discuss an philosophy to move forward.
“We’re going to have some meeetings before Spring Training, and we’re going to solicit input from all of our hitting people within the organization,” Jennings said. “We’re going to create a Marlins Way, a Marlins Mindset, and work on all of our guys having a plan, and an understanding on how to take that into the game. And hopefully get the results that will get production.”
Production is the ultimate goal. Whatever steps they go through to achieve that is what the team will weigh.
Also still on the table is the possibility of adding a second hitting coach or instructor. MLB rules allow a seventh coach on the staff for such a position. Miami has six on its staff.
“We’ve had conversations. We’ve tossed it around,” Jennings said. “We’ve weighed the pros and the cons. I’d say right now, I don’t think we’re leaning either way. It’s something that we’ve taken note of, that some teams are doing it. We’ve talked about with us, would it be advantageous or detrimental.
“I think there are arguments on both sides, but we need to be comfortable with it.”
Manager Mike Redmond and Menechino have to have a comfort level with bringing in another coach.
“Right now, I wouldn’t say we’re leaning either way,” Jennings said. “It’s something we’ve talked about.”
Two members of the 2013 staff will not be coming back. Joe Espada has informed the team he would accept managing Class A Jupiter. And John Pierson will go back to being the Minor League field coordinator.
There always is a chance Espada could be offered a big league coaching job elsewhere.
Managing in the big leagues could be part of Espada’s future, and he could gain valuable experience at Jupiter.
“We have great respect, everybody in the organization feels the same about Joe,” Jennings said. “We like him. We were glad he decided to remain inside the organization. From a career standpoint, this may be a great move for him as he goes forward, having an opportunity to manage a game and being in that capacity.”
— Joe Frisaro