The Marlins are hiring James Rowson as their new bench coach and offensive coordinator, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Passan (link). His role as “offensive coordinator,” a term typically associated with the NFL, will see him implement hitting philosophies throughout various levels of the organization, per the report.
Rowson most recently served as hitting coach for the “Bomba Squad” Twins, who collected a record 307 home runs in 2019. Before his hire in Minnesota in 2017, Rowson worked with as a minor league hitting coordinator with the Cubs and Yankees, logging a few months of MLB hitting coach experience when he took over for Rudy Jaramillo in Chicago in 2012.
Rowson, a former ninth-round pick of the Mariners in the ’90s, will look to ignite a Miami offense that struggled mightily in 2019. The club’s collective .241/.298/.375 line indicated that the rebuilding Marlins failed to get on base or drive the ball with consistency, as a collection of veterans (Curtis Granderson, Martin Prado) and underperforming youngsters (Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz) contributed to a cumulative club 79 wRC+. The Bronx-bred Rowson will, however, have above-average performers in Brian Anderson and Garrett Cooper at his disposal, while young players like Jorge Alfaro and rising prospects such as Jazz Chisholm and Jesus Sanchez all offer the potential for breakout.