The Marlins are hiring James Rowson to be the team’s bench coach and help with hitting for the 2020 season. Rowson comes over from Minnesota.
Rowson will replace Tim Wallach, who served in the same capacity under manager Don Mattingly during his time in Miami. Wallach Announced prior to the end of the season he wanted to move closer to his family out west. He and Mattingly have a relationship that dates back to their time together with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"“Rowson served three seasons as the Twins’ hitting coach, and from 2012-13 he was the Cubs’ hitting coach,” writes Joe Frisaro. “He also spent time in the Yankees’ system, working with several players currently playing for New York.“Jeff Livesey, Miami’s interim hitting coach in 2019, and assistant hitting coach Eric Duncan are expected to be retained, but their roles may change.”"
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Rowson is being brought in to help the Marlins with hitting as well. Miami finished near the bottom of almost every offensive category in the majors last year. He was part of the Twins staff that made the playoffs this past season. And will be tasked with putting together a hitting plan for the major league team and its minor-league system.
While Miami may have been one of the worst teams offensively in 2019, the minor-league system is chocked full of prospects who could add more power and more consistency of the plate in the future.
Hiring a 43-year-old further strengthens Mattingly’s coaching staff, which is still in need of a catching coach and third base coach prior to the start of Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida. Brian Snyder, the team’s catching coach was not retained. The team’s third-base coach, Fredi Gonzalez, left the organization to pursue other options.
The Marlins hope the work Rowson did with the Twins this season rubs off on the organization. The Twins set a Major League record with 307 home runs this past season, edging the Yankees (306) for the homer mark. Minnesota and New York are the only clubs to reach 300 home runs in a season. Also, Twins finished with 939 runs, second in the Majors to the Yankees’ 943.
One of the players Rowson will have an opportunity to work with this offseason is Lewin Diaz, who was part of the deal the Twins put together to acquire closer Sergio Romo at the MLB trade deadline. Diaz, who may be a year away from making the major-league roster, is considered the Marlins top first base prospect in the organization.