The Miami Marlins new bench coach James Rowson is being asked to help cure the team’s hitting woes.
Can the former hitting coach of the Minnesota Twins work on making the Marlins lineup one of the more feared in Major League Baseball? While any upward mobility from the parent club would be welcomed, there is a feeling that Rowson, who was hired to also work with hitters from the bottom of the minor league system to the most skilled players in South Florida, will help change the fortunes of this franchise, even if it’s small in comparison to his past work.
"“We drove home [the idea of], ‘Get a good pitch, and hit the ball hard,’” Rowson said. “That was the mindset. And you start finding out different players do that on different pitches. They do that in different ways. It’s pretty cool as a coach, to start finding out how these guys work differently, but yet are all working for one goal.”"
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The bench coach spot opened up when Tim Wallach announced he would be leaving the organization to move closer to home in California. After seeing what Rowson did with the Twins, helping them get to the playoffs, the move by the front office and Marlins manager Don Mattingly made sense.
With the Twins, Rowson’s players tore the cover off the baseball, hitting 307 home runs, setting an MLB record. The team finished second to the New York Yankees in runs scored with 939. It will take a little time for the coaching staff and the front office to find more pop in the middle of the batting order, but the Marlins do have more prospects to work with now that the team acquired every-day talent through the MLB Draft and the trade deadline last season.
It is expected the front office will be more active this winter attempting to bring veteran bats down south and to elevate the order from top to bottom.
"“Miami ranked last in the Majors in home runs (146) and slugging percentage (.375), and 29th in runs (615),” Joe Frisaro wrote. “This is where Rowson comes in. The Twins, meanwhile, were at the top of many significant offensive categories, including sporting the second-highest slugging percentage in the Majors (.494).”"
The Marlins leading home run hitter, Starlin Castro, is a free agent. He launched 22 home runs last season. Brian Anderson hit 20 homers before breaking his hand and missing the last few weeks of 2019.