Miami Marlins announce 2020 Major League coaching staff

January 7th, 2020

The Miami Marlins announced the club’s Major League coaching staff for the 2020 season today. The list includes five coaches who are new to the Major League staff and four who are new to the organization.

Manager Don Mattingly returns for his fifth season at the helm of the Marlins. The new additions to his 2020 staff are bench coach James Rowson, first base/outfield coach Billy Hatcher, bullpen coach Wellington Cepeda, and catching coach Eddy Rodriguez.

Additionally, Eric Duncan, who served as Miami’s minor league hitting coordinator to open 2019 before being named interim assistant hitting coach last April, has been promoted to hitting coach. Robert Rodriguez has been promoted to the Major League staff as assistant hitting coach; he was Miami’s 2019 Staff Member of the Year as manager of the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

Returning from last year’s staff is pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. (second season), as well as Trey Hillman (second season), who will be Miami’s third base coach and infield instructor after serving as first base coach/infield instructor in 2019. Bullpen coordinator Rob Flippo (third season) will also return to the Major League staff, as will bullpen catcher Koji Tanaka (second year).

Rowson, 43, a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was Minnesota’s hitting coach for the previous three years and enjoyed a historic 2019 season with the Twins. His charges posted the most home runs in a single season in MLB history (307), while posting the sixth-fewest strikeouts in the Majors (fourth-fewest in the American League). They also led the Majors in RBI (906), and ranked second in runs (939), batting average (.270), and slugging percentage (.494).

Prior to his time in Minnesota, Rowson was the minor league hitting coordinator for the New York Yankees from 2014-’16, a position that he also held from 2008-’11. In between, he served as hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs from 2012-’13. Rowson began his career with minor league hitting coach assignments across the Rookie and Single-A levels from 2002-‘07.

Hatcher, 59, a Williams, Arizona native, enters his 25th season of professional coaching and 22nd at the Major League level. He spent 2019 as Cincinnati’s Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator after serving as the club’s Major League first base coach (2006-‘15) and third base coach (2016-‘18). He also served as outfield and baserunning coach during his time on the Major League staff.

He began his coaching career as a minor league instructor and coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the two years prior to their inaugural campaign. He then served on the club’s Major League staff for its first eight seasons, as first base coach (1998-’99, 2003-’05), bench coach (2001-‘02), and third base coach (2000).

Cepeda, 46, a native of La Vega, Dominican Republic, joins the Marlins after spending the last 16 seasons as a pitching coach, pitching coordinator, and manager in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system. He began his coaching career in 2001 as pitching coach for the DSL D-backs and would serve in the same role at the Rookie, Single-A, and Double-A levels before being named Short-Season pitching coordinator from 2016-‘18. He managed the D-backs AZL squad (26–30) in 2019.

Eddy Rodriguez, 34, a native of Villa Clara, Cuba, enters his second season as a professional coach, his first on a Major League staff. He spent 2019 as the Angels’ minor league catching coordinator. Rodriguez attended the University of Miami from 2004-’06 before playing 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues, throwing out 207 baserunners over 633 stolen base attempts (32.7%). He appeared in two career Major League games for San Diego in 2012, hitting a home run off of Johnny Cueto in his first career Major League at-bat on August 2.

Robert Rodriguez, 39, was promoted to the Major League staff after guiding the GCL Marlins to an East Division title with a 28–22 record in his first season in the role. He joined the Marlins’ organization in 2017 as defensive coach with Triple-A New Orleans after coaching amateur baseball at the high school and travel ranks for 10 years. The Miami, Florida native is the older brother of current MLB player Sean Rodriguez, and the son of Johnny Rodriguez, who has served as a coach and instructor in the Cardinals’ organization since 2010.

Gene Basham (fourth season, 19th with organization) will lead the Marlins Major League training staff after his promotion to Head Certified Athletic Trainer. He spent the previous three years as the club’s Assistant Athletic Trainer. Joining his staff will be Major League Assistant Certified Athletic Trainers Brad LaRosa and Chris Mudd. LaRosa, formerly a trainer in the Marlins’ Minor League system, rejoins the organization after spending several years as the Triple-A trainer for Oakland. Mudd joins the Marlins after spending the last five years as an assistant Major League trainer for the Philadelphia Phillies. Kevin Barr will also return for his second season as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.