MIAMI -- The Marlins are taking a major step toward infusing more impact into their sluggish offense.
According to a source, the club is hiring Twins hitting coach James Rowson as manager Don Mattingly’s bench coach. The 43-year-old also will be heavily involved in implementing a hitting plan for the organization at the Major and Minor League levels.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report that Rowson will be heading to Miami.
The Marlins have not confirmed any individual coaching hires. They plan to make a full announcement once the entire staff is set.
Rowson served three seasons as the Twins’ hitting coach, and from 2012-13 he was the Cubs’ hitting coach. 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.
Upgrading the offense will be Miami’s top offseason priority. In 2019, the club was last in the Majors in home runs with 146.
The Twins set a Major League record with 307 home runs and earned the nickname the “Bomba Squad.” They edged the Yankees (306) for the homer mark.
Minnesota and New York are the only clubs to reach 300 home runs in a season.
The Twins finished with 939 runs, second in the Majors to the Yankees' 943.
Minnesota had MLB’s highest ISO (.224) while maintaining the Majors’ fourth-lowest strikeout rate (21 percent).
Scoring runs was a problem for the Marlins in 2019. They finished with 615, which was second to last in the Majors.
Rowson will replace Tim Wallach as bench coach. Wallach handled the position for the past four years, but he announced at the end of the season that he intended to return to Southern California to spend more time with his family.
Mel Stottlemyre Jr. will be back for his second season as pitching coach after signing an extension. The new bullpen coach will be Wellington Cepeda, formerly in the D-backs system. He replaces Dean Treanor.
Third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez also informed the club that he wanted to pursue other options.
Catching coach Brian Schneider was not invited back.