Results tagged ‘ Randy St. Claire ’

Marlins set to name Rodriguez

With the World Series completed, the Marlins now are about to conclude their manager search.

Their search has led the team back to where the season ended.

In recent days, speculation had been growing that there were two finalists — Edwin Rodriguez and Bo Porter.

But on Tuesday, the Nationals announced their staff, and Porter was named their third base coach.

With Porter out of the mix, the Marlins now are set to announce they will retain Rodriguez. An official announcement is expected on Wednesday, according to sources.

Along with naming Rodriguez, who met on Tuesday with team owner Jeffrey Loria in New York, the Marlins are set to finalize their staff. Perry Hill will return to the ballclub and be the infield and first base coach. John Mallee will be back as hitting coach. Brandon Hyde returns as bench coach, and pitching coach Randy St. Claire will return. Joe Espada is lined up to be the third base coach.

Rodriguez posted a 46-46 record with the Marlins after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez in late June. For the season, Florida was 80-82 — third place in the NL East.

Rodriguez is the first Puerto Rican-born manager in MLB history. The 50-year-old was promoted from being the Triple-A New Orleans manager on June 23.

A week ago, Marlins president David Samson said the team expected to make a managerial announcement after the World Series. 

Shortly after the season ended, the Marlins pursued Bobby Valentine, who withdrew from consideration a couple of weeks ago. The team also inquired about the availability of Ozzie Guillen, who is returning to the White Sox.

— Joe Frisaro

Avoiding tipping his hand

Spring Training is a time to work on things, make corrections and prepare for the regular season.

For Leo Nunez, it’s also time to figure out something glaring he has been doing wrong.

leo-nunez-46-2009-mlb-florida-marlins.jpgA couple of days ago in Fort Myers, pitching coach Randy St. Claire pointed out that the Marlins closer has been tipping his pitches. Basically, but his glove positioning, Nunez was telegraphing when he would throw his fastball and changeup.

In looking at video from this spring and last year, it seems Nunez had been getting into this habit.

“It’s something I’m working on every day,” Nunez said. “For my changeup, I’m a little bit here [by his belt]. And my fastball, I’m a little here [glove closer to his face]. I have to do everything the same.”

St. Claire picked up on something being possibly wrong on March 11, when the Marlins faced the Cardinals. Entering in a save situation, Nunez gave up five runs (three earned) in two-thirds of an inning.

“I have to do everything the same, with my changeup, fastball and slider,” Nunez said. “I’m working every day.”

In terms of how he is throwing the ball, Nunez is doing fine. His fastball is gaining life, and his changeup is considered an “out pitch.” He says his slider is also coming along.

“Every day I’m working on my slider,” he said. “Every day it is getting better.”

Nunez has made six appearances in Spring Training, and he’s lined up for a few more outings, including working a two-inning stint before Opening Day on April 5 against the Mets in New York.

— Joe Frisaro


Is Leo tipping his pitches?

To Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire, something didn’t look right when Leo Nunez faced the Cardinals on March 11.

In that game, the Florida closer was tagged for five runs (three earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Nunez was looking to collect a save, but instead, he was slapped with the Grapefruit League game loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

The way the Cardinals were on Nunez, ripping four hits, had St. Claire wondering if the closer was tipping his hand.

As it turns out, he was.

“He was tipping his pitches,” St. Claire said. “It looked like these guys knew exactly what was coming. The way they hit the fastball, the way they stayed on the changeup, all of it.

“I went in to look at it, and it was really, really obvious from the video. So we’ve been working on it his last couple of outings.”

The way Nunez was positioning his glove made it clear to keen-eyed opposing hitters who detected the closer was telegraphing what he was throwing.

“It was easily recognizable,” St. Claire said. “Older, veteran lineups like the Cards picked up on it.”

Since then, the Marlins are checking to see how Nunez’s hand is going into his glove before delivering his pitches. Nunez struggled a bit on Wednesday against the Twins in Fort Myers, giving up one run on two hits in one inning. He had a strikeout and two walks.

St. Claire detected the tipping by reviewing video from this spring and last year. As it turns out, Nunez was also tipping at times in 2009.

Nunez has appeared in six games, and he’s thrown 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander has given up six runs on six hits with six strikeouts and four walks.

Nunez is in the process of adjusting his glove to prevent hitters from knowing what pitch is coming.

— Joe Frisaro


Collins to join Marlins staff

The Marlins have yet to make any formal announcement, but their coaching staff is just about set.

The new outfield/first base coach is expected to be Dave Collins, who played from 1975-90.

Florida’s new pitching coach will be Randy St. Claire, formerly with the Nationals. The new infield/third base coach will be Josue Espada, the organizations Minor League infield coordinator. Reid Cornelius is lined up to be the bullpen coach. Cornelius was the pitching coach at Double-A Jacksonville.

Returning to the staff are bench coach Carlos Tosca, hitting coach Jim Presley and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault.

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins coaching staff options

The Marlins are in the process of filling their coaching staff. Teams typically don’t make announcements during the playoffs. So after the World Series, the club is expected to make their moves official.

On Monday, the Marlins hired Randy St. Claire as their new pitching coach.

A few other positions currently are unfilled, including first base, third base and bullpen coach.  A name that has surfaced to fill a position on the staff is Jamie Quirk, who played 18 years in the big leagues. A former first-round pick of the Royals in 1972, Quirk retired as a player in 1992.

He also has coached 15 years in the big leagues. Quirk has played and coached in the World Series.

Quirk was the Rockies bench coach in 2007, the year they lost to the Red Sox in the Fall Classic. Since 2008, he’s been a scout for the Reds.

This year Quirk was the third base coach for the United States World Cup team.

As a player, he was used all over. His primary position was catcher, but he also played third base, first base and the outfield. He also very limited action at shortstop and second base.

If hired, Quirk could fill any number of positions, including working with the infielders or outfielders.

He played on the Royals 1985 World Series championship team.

St. Claire, meanwhile, is replacing Mark Wiley. After relieving Wiley of his pitching coach duties, the Marlins offered him the opportunity to remain with the organization in another capacity. Indications are Wiley will stay on with the Marlins.

Before joining the Marlins as pitching coach in 2008, Wiley was a special assistant for the Rockies, where he did a great deal of scouting.

— Joe Frisaro