Buzz, movement off the field
We are still several weeks away from seeing significant MLB player movement. Meanwhile, this is a hectic time for the ancillary figures who comprise front offices and coaching staffs.
The Marlins are going to have plenty of continuity heading into 2021. Don Mattingly will manage Miami for a sixth season. CEO Derek Jeter earlier this year extended the contracts of most of his key executives.
However, Jeter never found common ground with Michael Hill—they seemingly had different ideas about what his salary and specific role should be moving forward. One week after announcing his departure, it’s unclear whether the Marlins have made any progress in their general manager/president of baseball operations search. But Hill hopes to start a new chapter immediately, emerging as a candidate for Los Angeles Angels GM, according to Craig Mish.
Marlins bench coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson is among at least six candidates, per The Boston Globe, who have interviewed for the Red Sox managerial vacancy. The Marlins hired Rowson from the Twins at this time a year ago. He got his first taste of being a skipper this season when Mattingly was ejected mid-game on Aug. 16 for arguing balls and strikes.
Alex Cora, who’s on the verge of completing his one-year MLB suspension, is still the favorite to be (re-)hired by the Sox, but get used to hearing Rowson’s name whenever these jobs open up. Perhaps the Marlins view the 44-year-old as Mattingly’s eventual successor—that doesn’t mean he should be passively waiting for a promotion.
George A. King III of the New York Post reports that Tommy Phelps and Phil Plantier have joined the Fish as player development coaches. Both of them were poised to coach for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in 2020 (before the Minor League Baseball season was canceled). As King summarizes in his article, numerous individuals with Yankees connections have made this same transition during the three years since new Marlins ownership took over in order to further their careers.
Winter ball preview
Marlins fans surely enjoyed what the team accomplished during this just-completed 2020 season. But although the quality of the baseball was much improved, we had so much less of it than usual! That’s why I intend to consume as much action as possible from the various offseason winter leagues, particularly when active Marlins players are involved.
What I’ve confirmed so far: prospects Lewin Díaz (Estrellas Orientales), Jesús Sánchez (Toros del Este) and Christopher Torres (Águilas Cibaeñas) are full participants in preseason workouts with their Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) teams. They are each expected to play frequently. The 2020-21 LIDOM season begins on Nov. 15.
Months ago, catcher Jorge Alfaro announced that he would suit up for Caimanes de Barranquilla in his native Colombia. It’s unclear how the MLB season may have impacted his plans.
Regular Fish Stripes updates, including winter ball stats and highlights, will be published here.
On this day in Marlins history...
It’s been 23 years since the Marlins clinched their first-ever World Series title.
Indians right-hander Jaret Wright cruised through six innings of his Game 7 start, preserving a 2-0 lead. Pro Player Stadium roared back to life in the bottom of the seventh when Bobby Bonilla cut the deficit in half with a solo home run.
The Marlins bullpen held Cleveland scoreless in relief of Al Leiter. That kept the club within striking distance entering the bottom of the ninth. They rallied against José Mesa to tie it at 2-2 and force extra innings.
The full game broadcast is available on YouTube.
- Starling Marte’s Marlins cap has made it to Cooperstown, celebrating his unique feat of playing 61 games during a 60-game regular season.
- Marlins radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner joined Broadcaster Hour to describe how travel restrictions and social distancing affected how he did his job in 2020.
- Florida Instructional League wrapped up on Sunday with a Marlins loss to the Nationals. Regardless of results, 17-year-old shortstop José Salas is clearly developing.
- Cody Pirkl of Twins Daily covets some of the Marlins young starting pitchers in a potential trade.
- Following this bye week, Tua Tagovailoa makes his much-anticipated first start for the Miami Dolphins! Check out this new t-shirt celebrating the news.
- On a related note, enter to win a free t-shirt from Marlins UK with a simple quote-tweet.