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Marlins announce Mattingly's '20 coaching staff

@JoeFrisaro
January 7, 2020

MIAMI -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly will enter his fifth season at the helm, with a coaching staff that includes four main newcomers. The organization on Tuesday officially announced Mattingly’s staff, which for the first time will include James Rowson as bench coach, Billy Hatcher as first-base/outfield coach, Wellington Cepeda

MIAMI -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly will enter his fifth season at the helm, with a coaching staff that includes four main newcomers.

The organization on Tuesday officially announced Mattingly’s staff, which for the first time will include James Rowson as bench coach, Billy Hatcher as first-base/outfield coach, Wellington Cepeda as bullpen coach and Eddy Rodriguez as catching coach.

Returning from Mattingly’s 2019 staff are pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and Trey Hillman as third-base/infield instructor. Hillman coached first base last year. Bullpen coordinator Rob Flippo returns, as does bullpen catcher Koji Tanaka.

"We're very pleased with the talent that we've been able to bring in with our coaching staff," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "Bringing over James Rowson from Minnesota and the knowledge and experience that he brings, and the offensive know-how that he has, we were excited to add him."

Eric Duncan is being promoted to hitting coach after serving as the interim assistant hitting coach for most of the 2019 season. Robert Rodriguez, the organization’s 2019 Staff Member of the Year, has been promoted to assistant hitting coach. Rodriguez managed the Gulf Coast League Marlins to a first-place finish in their division last year.

On the training staff, Gene Basham takes over as the head certified athletic trainer, and he enters his fourth season on the MLB staff. Brad LaRosa and Chris Mudd join as assistant certified athletic trainers, with Kevin Barr back as the strength and conditioning coach.

Rowson, 43, joins the Marlins after serving as the Twins' hitting coach in 2019. Minnesota set an MLB single-season team home run record of 307 under Rowson’s watch.

Hatcher, 59, enters his 25th season of professional coaching, with 22 at the Major League level. He spent 2019 as the Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Reds, an organization he was with from '06-18. Hatcher also has been a first- and third-base coach in the big leagues, working on the Rays’ big league staff in 1998-99 and from '00-05.

“In Billy Hatcher, we looked at our staff, we have a true outfield/infield instructor,” Hill said. “We want to give them every opportunity to reach their ceiling and become the best players they can be. Tremendous energy. Great relationships. Tremendous knowledge of outfield, baserunning, base stealing, and I feel a tremendous addition to our staff.”

Hatcher enjoyed a 12-year big league playing career from 1984-95.

Cepeda, 46, spent the past 16 seasons as a pitching coach, pitching coordinator and manager in the D-backs’ system. He has previous experience working with Stottlemyre during their days with Arizona.

“I think in Mel Stottlemyre, we have a tremendous pitching coach and pitching mind, and someone who will continue to challenge and push our young starters,” Hill said.

Duncan became Miami’s assistant hitting coach after Miami dismissed Mike Pagliarulo on April 19. Before that, Duncan was in the Marlins’ system for the first time as a Minor League hitting coordinator. Hill called Duncan a “rising star” in the coaching ranks.

This offseason, Duncan has been working with some of the Marlins’ players at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

“When you're talking about young players and getting them to the big leagues, coaching becomes such a big part of finishing them off, and allowing them to reach their full potential,” Hill said.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.