Marlins consider employing two hitting coaches
New front office looks to make changes to retool offense after down year
MIAMI -- The beginning stages of changes are already under way for the Marlins, who are open to new concepts and ideas as they embark on moving forward.
In recent days, there has been a restructuring of the front office.
Still unresolved is the exact setup of manager Mike Redmond's staff. Major moves are not anticipated, but the team is in the market for a hitting coach or two.
John Pierson, the interim hitting coach after Tino Martinez resigned in late July, will be returning to Miami's Minor League system. Before being called up to the big leagues, Pierson was the organization's field coordinator.
The Marlins finished last in the Majors in most significant hitting categories in 2013, including runs (513), batting average (.231) and home runs (95).
To improve, the organization is open to new ways of doing business.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill said on Sunday that club is weighing the idea of a second hitting coach.
Two hitting instructors is a relatively new trend, but it is already adopted by several teams, including the Cardinals and Phillies.
"We've talked about all of that," Hill said. "You talk about a second hitting coach, it frees up your primary hitting coach to do whatever he needs to do. While someone is working in the cage, there may be a second hitting coach who may be looking at video."
The demands of the hitting coach are so great, because so much of their days is spent in the cages, which takes time away from assisting in breaking down video. With two coaches, one can be in the cage while the other is assisting in other capacities.
The Cardinals also have taken it a step further. John Mabry, their primary hitting coach, is a former big leaguer who batted from the left side. Assistant hitting coach Bengie Molina, an ex-catcher, bats from the right side. So they offer two different perspectives for batters.
"We don't know exactly what all of those changes are going to be, but we're going to do everything in our power to try to make things better," Hill said.
For Miami, 2013 goes down as one of the roughest in franchise history, in terms of losses and run production. The only season in which the club scored fewer runs was 1994, a strike-shortened campaign in which they scored 468 in 115 games.
In terms of home runs, the 1993 team finished with just 94, one fewer than this year's squad.
With a young club, the big league staff is asked to assist in development and instruction, which raises the question of the necessity of a second hitting coach.
"All of that stuff is on the table because we need to make changes to help us win more ballgames," Hill said.