Barry Bonds is out as Marlins hitting coach after just one season.
Sources have confirmed that Bonds was dropped from the Major League coaching staff, as were third-base coach Lenny Harris and bullpen pitching coach Reid Cornelius.
The changes came one day after the Marlins finished a disappointing 79-82, faded down the stretch, and failed to reach the postseason for the 13th consecutive year.
Bonds -- the majors’ all-time home run king -- was hired before the 2016 season to bring improvement to an anemic offense that had ranked next-to-last in runs scored the previous season.
It was a high-profile hiring of a controversial baseball legend who had no prior coaching experience. But the Marlins improved only marginally under the tutelage of the slugging great, who had been hand-picked by owner Jeffrey Loria for the role.
The Marlins this season scored 655 runs, which ranked ahead of only the Braves and Phillies in the National League.
Manager Don Mattingly had often lamented the Marlins’ repeated failures to put up runs late in games. And he indicated last week that Marlins hitters weren’t doing enough in the way of pre-game preparation.
“Those [types of games] are showing you we’re not making adjustments,” Mattingly said of one recent loss in which the Marlins scored early but sputtered late. “That’s about our individual preparation and us [coaches] doing a better job.”
In particular, Mattingly said he wanted to see the Marlins’ hitters make better use of available technology, such as video and advanced scouting reports on pitchers.
“Other teams are doing it, I know,” Mattingly said at the time. “They’re doing their prep work. They’re doing their homework. It’s going in and taking advantage of technology.”
In Bonds’ defense, the Marlins were without the services of two of their sluggers — Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour — for a large part of the second half. Both landed on the disabled list with injuries.
But even when healthy, Stanton struggled, suffering through a pronounced hitting slump and finishing with a career-low .240 average.
Bonds was credited early on with helping to revive Marcell Ozuna, who earned a spot on his first All-Star team after earning a demotion to the minors last season. But Ozuna faded in the second half, hitting just .209 after the break.
The Marlins ranked second in the N.L. with a .263 team average, but were 12th of 15 teams with a .394 slugging percentage, partly due to the absence of Bour and Stanton for long stretches.
After the All-Star break, when the Marlins plummeted out of Wild Card contention, they hit the fewest homers and scored the second-fewest runs in the N.L. — just two more than the Phillies.