MIami Marlins manager Don Mattingly’s coaching staff for the 2020 season is starting to take shape.
The latest hire: James Rowson, who will serve as the Marlins’ bench coach and “offensive coordinator,” as first reported Thursday evening by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Rowson replaces Tim Wallach, who stepped away from the club after the season.
Rowson, 43, spent the last three seasons as the Minnesota Twins’ hitting coach. The Twins this season set MLB’s single-season home run record (307), scored the second-most runs in baseball (939) and had the fourth-lowest strikeout rate in the league (21 percent).
Before his stint in Minnesota, he spent two years as the Chicago Cubs’ hitting coach from 2012-2013 in between two stints as the New York Yankees’ minor-league hitting coach, most recently from 2014-2016.
According to Passan, Rowson will “implement hitting philosophies throughout the organization.”
That’s a needed fixture for a Marlins team that finished last in MLB in 2019 in home runs (145) and slugging (.375), 29th in runs scored (615) and 25th in batting average (.241).
He joins a Marlins staff that returns Mel Stottlemyre Jr as pitching coach and Trey Hillman as first base coach and baserunning coach. Miami is expected to retain Jeff Livesey (interim hitting coach) and Eric Duncan (assistant hitting coach) and still need to find a catchers coach to replace Brian Schneider and a third base coach to replace Fredi Gonzalez.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported Wednesday that Wellington Cepeda will be hired as the club’s bullpen coach.