The Marlins are going young with a couple of the openings on their 2020 major league coaching staff. James Rowson, 43, has been introduced at Marlins Park as the new bench coach and offensive coordinator, while soon-to-be 34-year-old Eddy Rodriguez will be responsible for coaching catchers.
Although his own bat didn’t take him very far in pro ball (.193/.285/.298 in parts of three minor league seasons), Rowson impressed as Twins hitting coach. His former club had one of MLB’s top offenses in 2019 despite a middle-of-the-pack payroll. Earlier in the decade, the New York native was an instructor in the Yankees farm system.
Rowson interviewed for Minnesota’s managerial gig—lost out to Rocco Baldelli—and presumably has some aspirations to eventually succeed Don Mattingly in Miami.
It’s a homecoming for Rodriguez who was raised in South Florida. He enjoyed a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2012, but largely spent the prime of his playing career as a Triple-A backup. He hung up the cleats after the 2017 campaign and spent last season as catching coordinator for the Angels.
Rodriguez announced the news on his own Twitter account (after previous reporting from FNTSY Sports Radio host Craig Mish):
I guess cat is out of the bag. I’m coming home..... dream come true to come back to my hometown and be the Marlins Catching Coach. Insane couple weeks for the Rodriguez Family. #backtothe305 pic.twitter.com/D4f4gOkvBm— Eddy Rodriguez (@EddyRodriguezU) November 18, 2019
Rowson and Rodriguez are replacing Tim Wallach and Brian Schneider, respectively. Before sharing their full 2020 staff, the Marlins still seek another base coach—either for first or third, with Trey Hillman manning the other—and clarity about their hitting coach situation.