The Miami Marlins have raised more than a few eyebrows in the last couple days. First, they fired manager Mike Redmond literally minutes after the completion of a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, who are now 6-0 at Marlins Park this season.
While the move wasn’t a major shocker, some would say that it isn’t Redmond’s fault that guys like Michael Morse, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Christian Yelich and Steve Cishek have been huge disappointments during the first couple months of the season.
Nevertheless, owner Jeffrey Loria wanted to make yet another managing change and that’s exactly what the team did. Less than 24 hours after Redmond was let go, Miami announced who their new skipper would be.
General manager Dan Jennings, who has no experience as a Major League player or manager (at any level), was named the Marlins new manager by president of baseball operations Michael Hill during a press conference at Marlins Park on Monday.
It’s not going to take very long to see how the players react to the change in leadership as Miami has a game on 16 of the 17 days following the managerial change. So far things haven’t gone particularly well, with the Marlins dropping the first two games of Jennings’ tenure. Both losses were tagged on a member of Miami’s bullpen.
There are a lot of different opinions as to whether the Marlins have made a wise move or a huge mistake in moving Jennings from the front office to the dugout, so here are some of the pros and cons of Loria’s latest experiment.
PRO- Knows The Players, Helped Build The Roster
Acting as the Marlins general manager for the past couple years, and as the assistant GM for six years before that, Jennings knows a lot about the players in the clubhouse. He’s done extensive research on every player on the roster, not to mention the prospects honing their craft in the minors, so if anyone would know how to get more out of these guys it would be Jennings.
CON- No Experience
While Jennings has been around professional baseball for nearly thirty years, he has no experience as a manager or player whatsoever.
PRO- Positive, Upbeat Guy
One of the things that people around the Marlins seem to love about Jennings is that he is a very positive and upbeat person. That kind of attitude could be very good for a team that has had as many struggles as the Marlins have had so far this season.
CON- Never Been Done Before
Being innovative is generally a good thing, but it’s hard to say that in this case. There has never in Major League Baseball history been a manager that had no professional playing or coaching experience. Ever. Hopefully Jennings will turn this CON into a PRO by the end of the season.
PRO- New Voice In The Clubhouse
The Marlins certainly have the talent to be a winning team but that hasn’t come through on the field just yet. Owner Jeffery Loria is hoping that a new voice leading the team will help push them in the right direction. It’s a tactic that has worked plenty of times in the past for other teams, both in baseball and many other sports.
CON- Jennings Is Tight With Ownership
Marlins players may be hesitant to trust Jennings knowing that he is so close with Loria. Having a buffer between the clubhouse and owners box is an important trait with professional teams and suddenly the Marlins don’t have that anymore. Can Jennings convince his players that they can trust him to keep certain things just between them and not tell ‘the suits’?
PRO/CON- Attached To Players He Brought In
This one could go either way and frankly, we won’t know until things play out on the field. Jennings may feel an attachment to players he pursued as free agents and stick with them in the lineup longer than he should. Michael Morse is a great example. Jennings loves Morse and has defended him several times, but his struggles can’t be ignored. Morse has been a major disappointment so far as a Marlin and it will be interesting to see how long Jennings sticks with him in the starting lineup if the first baseman continues to underachieve.
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