Marlins add to their coaching staff for the 2020 season

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Mel Stottlemyre #30 of the Miami Marlins visits the mound in the first inning against the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 28, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Mel Stottlemyre #30 of the Miami Marlins visits the mound in the first inning against the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 28, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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The Marlins name Wellington Cepeda as the team’s new bullpen coach, according to sources.

The Miami Marlins are putting together the rest of their coaching staff as sources closest to the organization are reporting Don Mattingly has chosen Wellington Cepeda as the club’s bullpen coach.

The move to bring in Cepeda, who will work closely with Miami’s pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre Jr., is just one of the positions Mattingly and the Marlins must address.

The organization must find a bench coach now the Tim Wallach has left the organization to be closer to home in California, and Fredi Gonzalez has announced that he is leaving the Marlins for other opportunities.

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The front office will announce the entire coaching staff once all positions are filled, according to MLB.com. The move to bring in Cepeda fills the position that was left open when the team decided not to retain the services of Dean Treanor. The 42-year-old Cepeda has some history with Stottlemyre, as the two of them were part of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

As reported before, Stottlemyre had some input as to who he wanted to bring in to help him with the bullpen to work with the Marlins pitching staff.

Cepeda was in the Arizona organization in 2019 prior to being hired by Miami.

The team’s bullpen is a major concern heading into 2020. It should be one of the prime positions the front office focuses on in free agency. According to Joe Frisaro, Marlins pitchers had a 4.97 ERA in relief in 2019, which ranked 26 amongst the 30 MLB teams. Inconsistency like that does not help a parent club that is counting on younger arms to develop as a dominant starting rotation.

Miami surrendered the 11th most walks in the majors this past season and only converted 27 of 49 save opportunities. Finding an everyday closer will be another focus of the front office, with the potential return of Sergio Romo in free agency.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter made the announcement prior to the end of last season that Mattingly would be retained and was offered a two-year contract extension. Following the announcement, Wallach told the organization that he would seek other opportunities away from South Florida. In addition to Treanor, Brian Snyder, the team’s catching coach, was told he would not be retained. It’s still a position that must be filled.

The Marlins finished 2019 with a 57–105 record which was the worst in the National League East and amongst the worst in Major League Baseball.

Mattingly, Cepeda, and Stoudemire will work closely with the front office to determine which players on the current roster will be retained as part of the pitching staff. It’s possible the team will look for a veteran starter for the rotation and could designate at least two arms for assignment during the off-season.

Finding consistency in long relief is crucial to the success of the staff in 2020 and making sure the team has a reliable ninth-inning specialist should help Mattingly’s young core of starting pitchers continue to mature.

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