Report: Miami Marlins Pitchers Upset with Manager Dan Jennings?
By Ehsan Kassim
To say the starting pitching for the Miami Marlins has been a disappointment in 2015 would be a disappointment. Headed into the All-Star break, the team owns a 4.02 ERA and a 4.13 FIP on the season. Their 3.7 fWAR ranks 27th in major league baseball.
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Much of the teams struggles on the mound has to do with Opening Day starter Henderson Alvarez only made 4 starts in 2015. Outside of that Mat Latos has not been good, until recently, and Dan Haren has been the same mediocre pitcher he has for a while now.
So of course manager Dan Jennings was thrilled when Jose Fernandez was close to returning to the mound earlier this month. Everyone in the baseball world knew that Fernandez was a major upgrade over the Miami Marlins starting pitching for most of 2015.
That, however, did not sit well with some of the Marlins pitchers, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
"Marlins players like Dan Jennings, who’s as engaging and pleasant a guy you will ever find. But we’re told some pitchers were bothered when he said pitching help is on the way (Jose Fernandez), because they considered it a slight to them.The feedback from the clubhouse is some of Jennings’ motivational comments would play better in a room full of business executives or front-office employees than a room full of professional athletes –– not surprising considering he never managed beyond high school. Jennings is doing the best he can in a tough assignment."
I have not been a huge fan of Dan Jennings in his time as the Marlins manager, but this seems like a rather silly thing to be slighted by. Fernandez is a clear upgrade over anyone in the Marlins rotation, as none of them have the same pitching ability as him.
A Fernandez-like talent does not come around everyday, so it should be no surprise when managers, coaches, front office people, and fans gush over a guy. Getting upset over Jennings being excited to get one of the top young arms, and a guy with the 23rd best trade value in baseball, makes no sense.
The other part of Jackson’s post makes a lot of sense. Jennings has little to no experience in managing a major league team and likely has not given a pep talk to a team since his High School coaching days.
Since Dan Jennings took over as the Marlins manager, the team has gone 22-29, which is no improvement at all from their 16-22 mark under Mike Redmond. The team would be wise to decide to go in another direction this offseason for the manager role, with Jennings returning to the front office.
The Marlins would be even wiser to completely clean house in the front office, but that’s unlikely to happen.
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