The Marlins have finalized their coaching staff under rookie manager Skip Schumaker, the team announced Tuesday. Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr., bullpen coach Wellington Cepeda and bullpen coordinator Rob Flippo are all holdovers from the prior staff. The rest will be comprised of newcomers — most of whom have Major League playing experience.
Rod Barajas has been named the team’s field coordinator, while Jon Jay is the new first base and outfield coach. Brant Brown has been tabbed as Miami’s new hitting coach, and he’ll be assisted by John Mabry. Jody Reed will serve as the Marlins’ third base and infield coach, and Luis Urueta will take over as Schumaker’s bench coach. Griffin Benedict, meanwhile, has been hired as a quality assurance coach.
Since retiring as a player following the 2012 season, the 47-year-old Barajas has spent nine years with the Padres in various coaching roles and was also the Angels’ Major League catching coordinator in 2022. The former catcher briefly served as the Padres’ interim manager for their final eight games in 2019 and was also San Diego’s bench coach. Barajas hit .235/.284/.407 and won a World Series ring with the D-backs during a 14-year playing career.
Jay, 37, was an active player up through the 2021 season and will now take his first big league coaching role. A longtime teammate of Schumaker in St. Louis, he’s a Miami native who spent a dozen seasons playing at the MLB level from 2010-21. Along the way, Jay hit .283/.348/.373 while logging extensive time at all three outfield positions.
Brown, 51, played in parts of five big league seasons and saw a brief run with the then-Florida Marlins in 2000. He’s spent the past three seasons as a co-hitting coach with the Dodgers and has previously held coaching gigs with the both the Mariners and Rangers. He batted .247/.301/.445 in 424 big league games.
Mabry, who’ll take over as the new assistant hitting coach for the Fish, is no stranger to big league coaching. He spent seven seasons with the Cardinals, first as assistant coach and then as the lead hitting coach, and he’s been on the Royals’ staff for each of the past three seasons. The 52-year-old played parts of 14 seasons in the Majors, hitting .263/.322/.405 and, in his final season with the Cardinals in 2005, briefly overlapped with Schumaker, who made his big league debut with St. Louis that same season.
The 60-year-old Reed had an 11-year playing career himself, batting .279/.340/.350 while spending the majority of his time with the Red Sox. He’s since had minor league coaching and development positions with the Dodgers and Yankees, including a nine-year stint with the latter.
Urueta is one of two newcomers who doesn’t have big league playing experience, though despite being just 41 years of age, he joins Miami with a lengthy coaching history. After spending more than a decade coaching and managing in the D-backs’ minor league system, Urueta was added to the big league staff in 2018 and eventually elevated to the position of bench coach. He returned to a minor league role for the 2022 season, however.
Benedict was with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in 2021-22, serving as the team’s hitting coach. Prior to that, he spent 10 seasons as a bullpen catcher and instructor with San Diego. Benedict played a pair of minor league seasons and also spent seven years working for the Padres’ scouting department.
ESPN’s Enrique Rojas first reported Urueta’s hiring back in November, while the hiring of Barajas and Reed were reported at the same time by Jon Heyman of the New York Post and Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald.