Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill announced following Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Nationals that hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo has been relieved of his duties. Jeff Livesey will fill his shoes on an interim basis with Eric Duncan joining the major league staff as assistant hitting coach (after previously serving as minor league hitting coordinator).
In doing so, the Marlins became the first team this season to fire a member of their MLB coaching staff.
Miami’s offense is bad. The team entered Friday leading the majors in grounding into double plays (23) while drawing the fewest walks (45). They ranked dead last at 2.53 runs scored per game, collectively slashing .216/.275/.332. Catcher Jorge Alfaro is the only regular in the lineup performing comfortably above league average at the plate.
Speaking to reporters postgame, Hill called the group’s results “unacceptable.”
He elaborated (h/t Wells Dusenbury, Sun Sentinel):
Michael Hill on why #Marlins decided to get rid of hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo:— Wells Dusenbury (@DuseReport) April 20, 2019
"We were an easy team to pitch to & didn’t get the feel we were making the necessary adjustments.
"We felt it was time for a new voice and subsequently a change needed to be made."
Five Reasons Sports Network host Craig Mish hinted that change could be imminent on the latest Swings & Mishes episode.
Marlins are falling short of their own internal projections.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 18, 2019
"I KNOW for a fact...they expected to be better than what they have been.” — @CraigMish https://t.co/sWO5LHFEyT
Pagliarulo had been hitting coach since 2017, when career years from Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna led the Marlins to strong run scoring. But when that core departed during the rebuild, he was unable to work his magic on the less talented/experienced 2018 roster.
This past winter, a handful of Don Mattingly’s assistants were let go, including first base/infield coach Perry Hill and pitching coach Juan Nieves. The Marlins should not feel dramatically different about the team after a limited sample of 20 regular season games, which begs the question: Why didn’t they address the position back then if Hill had doubts about Pags being the appropriate “voice” for the current roster?
Meanwhile, Mattingly is in the final year of his contract and buried deep in the NL East cellar at 5-15 despite a home-heavy schedule and relatively few injuries thus far. This decision buys him some time to inspire better performance from the roster in order to save his own job.
Let’s hear from you guys on this...
Do you agree with the Marlins’ decision to fire Mike Pagliarulo?
This poll is closed
Yes, he was ineffective
Yes, but should’ve happened before the season
No, don’t blame the coach for having bad players