3:30 p.m. ET Update
Bench coach Tim Wallach will not return for the 2020 season. He wants to spend more time with family on the west coast, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Possibly relevant here: granddaughter Ada—Chad Wallach’s daughter—was born earlier this month. Tim Wallach had been a constant on Don Mattingly’s coaching staff since 2011 (with both Dodgers and Marlins).
At this time last week, I offered some analysis on the motives behind the Don Mattingly contract extension and how it would be received by Marlins fans. CEO Derek Jeter and the front office were going against the grain, prioritizing continuity and intangibles ahead of win-loss record and young player production.
After letting the news marinate for a few days, respondents from our latest FanPulse survey are more enthusiastic than expected. Approximately 72% approve of Mattingly’s two-year deal (which Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports included a significant pay cut).
With three games remaining in the regular season, the Marlins are 56-103 and will finish with the second-lowest winning percentage in franchise history. It represents a step back from 2018 (though their run differential has actually improved from minus-220 to minus-187). Brian Anderson and Sandy Alcantara established themselves as above-average regulars on the roster, but internal candidates at most other positions failed to make progress.
How will the team react to this uninspiring performance? In the latest episode of the Swings and Mishes podcast, Craig Mish anticipates new faces of some kind:
“You can’t on a major league field have this kind of season and start rewarding all of your coaches for a good job. I think some tinkering is gonna have to be done. My guess is, yes—not my guess, I know—there will be changes next year.”
Mish specifically endorses the contributions of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., but notes that he’ll draw interest from other MLB teams, which could complicate negotiations to renew him.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill, one of the few holdovers from the Jeffrey Loria era, remains under contract through 2020. All season long, the FanPulse crowd has been generally upbeat about the Marlins’ long-term outlook. What’s unclear is whether Hill is still calling the important shots, or if Gary Denbo and other executives have been gradually squeezing him out.
We should learn more following game 162. Please sign up for FanPulse between now and then to be included in the next survey!