Miami Marlins: James Rowson has become the team’s top offseason signing

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: James Rowson #82 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: James Rowson #82 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Can James Rowson help the Miami Marlins become one of the better hitting teams in the Majors this season?

The Miami Marlins are hoping that the dual role James Rowson plays the season with the organization will help lead this team toward becoming one of the better hitting the ball clubs this season.

Not only was the former hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins named the Marlins bench coach, but he’s also being asked to work with hitting coach Eric Duncan in devising a program where every level of this organization will improve its time at the plate. As a team last year, Miami hit .241, which is nothing to get excited about. The Marlins hit a “staggering” 146 home runs, and we’re second to last in MLB in runs scored.

Essentially, Rowson is taking over a position where he will not only be Don Mattingly’s sounding board, but will help devise a hitting plan for each player to make this team more powerful in 2020.

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Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald calls him as an “offensive coordinator” which is fitting given the fact to Marlins could not score runs when they’re starting pitching put together masterful performances. This season, if the Marlins are able to score at least one more run a game, and the pitching staff is able to perform the way it did periodically last year, then a potential playoff run in a shortened season looks a little more attainable.

And if Rowson is able to do in Miami what he did in Minnesota, where the Twins hit over 300 home runs last season, then he might be held as the most important off-season pick up the Marlins made this offseason.

It’s no secret Miami made acquiring hitters its main focus of the off-season, Hot Stove, and free agency. But bringing in a man who has a plan not only for the top part of the organization but even at the lowest level at Class-A Clinton is a real plus for this baseball franchise.

Now, he must take the magic he created in Minnesota and work with Duncan to ensure the progress of young stars who are still developing. He must also take veterans like Jonathan Villar, Jesus Aguilar, and Corey Dickerson and help them to be even better than they were last season. It’s not a small task. Especially since he will only have 82 games to make that happen.

Manager Don Mattingly lost his right-hand man Tim Wallach at the end of the season when his longtime friend decided that he wanted to move closer to his family out west. Also losing Fredi Gonzalez, the team’s third base coach was a big blow to the team because of his connection to the younger players in their development.

Despite it being a short season, the coaching staff is still under a microscope, as is Mattingly. Even with a new two-year contract he received prior to the end of the 2019 season, there are many who wonder if the former Dodgers skipper can bring home a winner in South Florida as he did in Los Angeles.

The Miami Marlins youth proved they could hit the long ball and we’re patient at a plate over the first 20 games of Spring Training. But now that the roster has shrunk and the coaching staff is more focused on players who will make the opening day roster, does this mean the strategy changes and both Rowson and Duncan must also change their game plan?

This season, progress with the Miami Marlins isn’t just about wins and losses. It’s how the coaches are able to help players re-establish themselves once everybody gets back to playing baseball. If the two are correct, and the strategy works, then Miami may surprise a few people not only by hitting the long ball but also hitting for consistency as well.

Greater consistency is what this team needs if it’s going to sniff a playoff run. If it doesn’t work then not only will Rowson and Duncan be questioned for their plans for 2020, but Mattingly will be scrutinized again for making the decision to use both of them in this capacity, to begin with.

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