Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins drop fourth in row, reportedly interview Manny Acta for manager

Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas is too late with the tag as he tries to retire Brian Bogusevic of the Philadelphia Phillies in the third inning Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 at Marlins Park in Miami.
Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas is too late with the tag as he tries to retire Brian Bogusevic of the Philadelphia Phillies in the third inning Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 at Marlins Park in Miami. hgabino@elnuevoherald.com

The Marlins have reportedly begun searching for a new manager for the 2016 season.

Although the job still belongs to Dan Jennings, who is expected to manage through the remainder of the season, ESPN Deportes and FoxSports.com each reported Tuesday afternoon that the Marlins have interviewed former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta.

Acta, 46, managed the Nationals from 2007-2009 and Indians from 2010-12, and went 158-252 in three years with Washington and 214-266 in three years with Cleveland.

Jennings did not acknowledge the reports following the Marlins’ 6-2 loss to the Phillies.

“Today we focused strictly on the Phillies and getting back in the swing of things,” Jennings said. “I’ll have a conversation with [Marlins President of Baseball Operations] Mike [Hill]. Someone may have brought it up, but we’re focused right now on this series against the Phillies.”

After firing then-manager Mike Redmond on May 18, the Marlins moved Jennings from his post as general manager to replace Redmond despite not having any major-league managing experience.

The Marlins have gone 48-65 since Jennings took over, and dropped to 64-87 overall following Tuesday’s loss.

According to recent reports, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is believed to be ready to make major changes to the club’s baseball operations, one of which could be to either move Jennings back to the front office or cut ties with him altogether.

Jennings has been mentioned as a potential general manager candidate for other clubs.

The Marlins will likely talk to numerous candidates before choosing Jennings’ replacement, and experience is strongly preferred.

The Miami Herald reported in a recent article that management considers being bilingual a plus, but not a must in their manager search, which could help Acta among others.

Recent skid continues

Tom Koehler pitched his shortest outing since August 19 on Tuesday, and Marlins pitching gave up three home runs in what was the team’s fourth consecutive loss.

After going 2-0 over his previous three starts, Koehler lasted only five innings and gave up three earned runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out three.

An error led to the Phillies’ first run in the top of the first inning, but Koehler gave up a two-run single to Freddy Galvis in the second and a solo home run to Cody Asche in the fourth. Asche hit another home run in the eighth inning off reliever Raudel Lazo.

Shortstop Miguel Rojas hit his first home run of the season and second of his career in the bottom of the seventh inning to provide the Marlins’ only runs. Rojas has hit in a career-high seven consecutive games.

Chasing history

Jose Fernandez will take his shot at becoming the first pitcher to start his career 17-0 at home in major-league history when he starts against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Fernandez has a 1.11 ERA in 25 home starts at Marlins Park and along with Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1980-82) is one of three pitchers to begin their careers with a 16-0 home mark. Jennings said Fernandez would likely make one more start next week during the team’s final road trip of the season.

Injury updates

Jennings said Adeiny Hechavarria might be ready to come back sometime during the team’s current series against the Phillies. Hechavarria has been out since Sept. 2 with a hamstring injury.

Hechavarria was one of 13 players selected for the Esurance MLB Award for Defensive Player of the Year. Hechavarria has a .984 fielding percentage this season with 173 putouts and 373 assists.

Jennings also said Martin Prado (sore left wrist) and Giancarlo Stanton (broken left hamate bone) are progressing. Carter Capps (right elbow strain) will throw in a simulated game later this week.

“It would be great to see all of these guys come back at some point between now and the final 12 days so they can have peace of mind going into the offseason,” Jennings said.

Coming up

Wednesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (4-1, 4.22 ERA) vs. Phillies RHP David Buchanan (2-9, 8.49), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

Thursday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (2-4, 4.43) vs. RHP Alec Asher (0-4, 9.78), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

Miami Herald Sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.

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