Redmond wants Marlins' offense to do little things right
Skipper expects new hitting coach Menechino's playing style to carry over into club
MIAMI -- During the interviewing process, new Marlins hitting coach Frank Menechino made an impression with his energy and enthusiasm.
When Spring Training gets underway in February, the Marlins are hopeful Menechino's message will help their young squad improve on the little things that often produce big results.
After finishing last in the Majors in runs scored (513), home runs (95), batting average (.231), on-base percentage (.293) and slugging percentage (.335), the Marlins are getting back to the basics.
Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, the team lacks significant power. So they will be stressing the importance of manufacturing runs, as well as improving their situational hitting.
Menechino, named hitting coach Friday, will play a major role in instilling a better approach.
"What impressed all of us is his energy," manager Mike Redmond said. "Obviously you need energy with a lot of young guys."
A former big league infielder, Menechino previously competed against Redmond.
"I really admired the way he played," Redmond said. "He was a grinder and a guy who earned everything he got in the game as a player."
Menechino is expected to carry those same take-nothing-for-granted traits into his coaching.
The 42-year-old spent the past five seasons coaching in the Yankees' system, and he's been around a winning culture.
The MLB playoffs also are demonstrating the significance of executing the basics.
"You talk about winning baseball," Redmond said. "You talk about playoff teams. You talk about what do these guys do that the other teams don't? It is the little things.
"It is unselfish baseball. It's getting the guy over from second with less than two outs. It's driving the run in with less than two outs and the infield back. It could be a ground ball to short or a ground ball to first, whatever it takes to get that run in."
Although the Marlins finished 62-100, strong pitching kept them competitive in a majority of their games. But situational hitting was an issue, and the team was 24-35 in one-run games.
Other times, the Marlins simply couldn't manufacture much of anything, as they were shut out 18 times.
"You look at our record over the course of the year and how many one-run games we played in," Redmond said. "You look back at the offense, and you ask, 'Where could we have driven that run in, where could we have moved that guy over that could have maybe won us 10 more ballgames or whatever?'"
The Marlins averaged a mere 3.17 runs per game. The next closest team was the White Sox, who averaged 3.69 runs a game.
Miami averaged two fewer runs a game than the Red Sox, who paced the Majors with a 5.27 average.
"I think back to winning baseball, and what's winning baseball?" Redmond said. "That's doing the little things like bunting, which we were not good at, and we will get better at. Then offensively, then doing the unselfish things that will help us win ball games."
As he gets acclimated to his new role, Menechino is expected to observe plenty of video and data on the Miami players. But it won't be until he actually starts working with them individually that he will get a better feel for the squad.
"There is a process," Redmond said. "He's got to see the guys play. You can watch all the video you want, but he's going to go into Spring Training and get a feel for the guys, and learn and evaluate as he goes.
"I think he brings a lot to the table. He's coached in the Yankees' system for a few years. We're excited to have him."