Don Mattingly is a lame-duck manager, entering the final season of his four-year deal with the Marlins. Team officials have publicly praised the job he’s done, but that awkward contractual status, the .452 overall winning percentage in Miami and a league-wide trend toward younger, more analytical minds point to inevitable change.
Regardless, Donnie Baseball is here (for now) and needs a staff to assist him at the major league level in 2019. Those hirings are gradually coming together, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports, with additions expected next week. Heyman specifies that the Marlins will have a new pitching coach, assistant hitting coach and first base coach, replacing Juan Nieves, Frank Menechino and Perry Hill, respectively. (Strength and conditioning coach Ty Hill was also let go earlier this offseason.)
Confirming a previous Peter Gammons report, Roger McDowell is a candidate for the pitching vacancy. Longtime MLB reliever turned broadcaster Jeff Nelson hasn’t been shy about expressing his interest, though we don’t know whether the team is actually considering him.
Perry Hill has landed with the Mariners in his usual “infield guru” role...just in time for his new employer to begin a drastic rebuild. Menechino is the new hitting coach for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.
The Marlins appear to be lagging behind most other organizations with their activity in the coaching market. Being deliberate may have cost them opportunities to sign their top targets.
Well, we should be finding out very soon...