When he hired former Yankee Tino Martinez last offseason, owner Jeffrey Loria didn't think he would have to worry about finding a hitting coach for the 2014 season. After Martinez reportedly abused several Marlins, though, he was forced to.
Just a pair of weeks after the end of a season during which a young Marlins team went 62-100, the organization has completed Mike Redmond's 2014 coaching staff.
Brett Butler, who was consistently praised for his bunting and baserunning abilities during his career, was hired as the new third base and outfield coach. Butler replaced Joe Espada, who served in that capacity under several different Miami managers.
Before Butler was hired, the Marlins made it clear that they wanted to hire somebody who played at the major league level, ideally as an outfielder. Butler was exactly that.
Espada was reassigned and if he decides to remain in the organization, will manage Class-A Jupiter. He may interview for other openings, primarily because of the fact that he is regarded as a possible managerial candidate in the future.
Frank Menechino, who spent five seasons as a hitting instructor in the Yankees organization, was hired as the squad's hitting coach. The Marlins reported that they were considering carrying two hitting coaches, and despite the hiring of Menechino, General Manager Dan Jennings didn't shut the idea down.
"We've had conversations," general manager Dan Jennings said in an interview with MLB.com. "We've tossed it around. 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."
Bench coach Rob Leary and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez will remain with the team. Jeffrey Urgelles will continue to serve as the bullpen coordinator. Perry Hill, who Redmond credited with improving Miami's defense, will also remain on the staff.
"We are extremely excited to complete and announce Mike Redmond's staff for the 2014 season," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "Brett and Frank bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from their years as players and coaches. Coupled with our returning staff, we feel we have a tremendous mix of knowledgeable baseball men who will make our team better."
Last season, Miami consistently struggled offensively. The organization is reportedly going to discuss the hitting approach prior to the start of spring training.
"We're going to solicit input from all of our hitting people within the organization," Jennings said. "And 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 we'll get the results and the production."
Jennings said that Redmond is pleased with his staff, and is excited to continue to move forward knowing his staff is complete.
"I think overall, Red is happy with the staff," Jennings said. "That's the most important thing. Everyone on that staff works for the manager, and Red is pleased and he signed off on it. It's a situation where we knew this was going to be a transitional year for Red as a first-year manager. Red has people around him that he definitely believes in and believes in their abilities."