Fredi Gonzalez knows his way around the Marlins, and South Florida.
That’s one of the reasons why Gonzalez, who managed the Marlins from 2007-10 and worked with them from Day One of the organization’s inception, was brought back to serve as their third-base coach.
Gonzalez, who was born in Cuba, graduated from Miami’s Southridge High, and most recently managed the Atlanta Braves, will join manager Don Mattingly’s staff for the upcoming season.
“It’s nice to be home,” Gonzalez said.”I’ve only been with two teams in my career, the Marlins and the Braves.”
The Marlins also announced Tuesday that former major league third baseman and University of Miami graduate Mike Pagliarulo will take over as hitting coach, replacing Barry Bonds.
Gonzalez, 52, was the last Marlins manager to guide the team to a winning record, going 87-75 in 2009. Overall, the Marlins went 276-279 during his tenure as manager.
After being fired in 2010, he took over as Braves manager in 2011, replacing Bobby Cox. The Braves went 434-413 under Gonzalez before he was fired from the position in June.
“Obviously, managing is still an ambition of mine,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t want to leave being fired. I’d like to have another opportunity and to win. But I’m looking forward to spending a year or two coaching again.”
Gonzalez’s Marlins roots go all the way back to 1992 when he managed their minor-league Erie affiliate, one year before the Marlins began play in the majors.
He served as the Marlins’ third base coach in 1999-00.
“Whatever Donnie wants me to do, I’ll do it,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a good young team.”
Pagliarulo was a teammate of Mattingly’s with the New York Yankees in the 1980s and spent 11 seasons in the majors after being drafted out of the University of Miami in 1981.
He has served as hitting coach at Triple A Indianapolis in the Pirates’ organization.
The Marlins have yet to name a bullpen coach to replace Reid Cornelius.