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Perry Hill, Other Coaching News


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Palm Beach Post

 

Perry Hill won’t return to his infield coaching job with the Pittsburgh Pirates next year, but that doesn’t mean he’s coming back to the Marlins in 2010, either.

 

If the Marlins want to bring Hill back for the 2010 season, it looks like they may be out luck. The Pirates have exercised their right to prohibit Hill from working for another of major league team next season. That means Hill, Florida’s infield coach from 2002-07, will most likely spend the year with his family at home in Texas.

 

Hill could not be reached to discuss whether he’d even be interested in returning to the Marlins. But my gut says don’t rule out a Hill-Marlins reunion in 2011.

 

Under Hill, the Pirates made some history this season. Pittsburgh became the first team in baseball history to lead the majors in fielding while losing 99 games. (Pittsburgh made 73 errors and posted a .988 fielding percentage, both lows in the majors.)

 

If Hill helped a last-place team do that, imagine what he might be able to do for the second-place Marlins, an organization that prides itself on pitching.

 

Hill has tutored six Gold Glove infielders in all four positions. With the Marlins, Luis Castillo and Derrek Lee won Gold Gloves under Hill’s watch.

 

The 2009 Marlins made 106 errors, third-most in the National League but better than they 117 they made in 2008. Andy Fox was the infield coach in both of those seasons, and the marginal defensive improvement was a reason he was not brought back.

 

The Marlins could announce their three coaching vacancies later this week, with at least two spots expected to go to coaches with the Class AA Jacksonville Suns.

 

Suns manager Brandon Hyde could replace third base coach Bo Porter. Suns pitching coach Reid Cornelius could replace bullpen coach Steve Foster. Class AAA pitching coach Scott Mitchell is also a candidate.

 

No word yet on who will replace Andy Fox as the first base/infield coach. Minor league infield coordinator Josue Espada has interviewed for the job. Another possibility is minor league hitting coordinator John Mallee, who spent the last two months of the season with the Marlins.

 

Hyde is managing the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. His pitching staff includes Marlins lefty Andrew Miller, who is back in Florida to attend the funeral of his grandfather. Miller will return to the Arizona Fall League later this week.

 

Foster was recently hired as bullpen coach for the Kansas City Royals.

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That's pretty rough. Otherwise it would have been perfect timing with the Marlins having a job open and Hill without one. Now if the Marlins are going to seriously consider Hill for 2011 they would have to find an interim coach for just one year. Whomever they hire would need to be told upfront that this could be a year-long position.

 

I don't see the Marlins getting Hill unless they are legitimately dissatisfied with whomever is hired.

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First of all the Marlins would have to be seriously interested in Hill and it's only supposition that they are, and vice versa Hill has to be seriously interested in rejoining the Fish, but the way these things often get done is by providing "compensation" for Hill (in this case) to the Pirates. That may be exactly what the Pirates are aiming for, turning a liability (his contract) into an asset (a prospect).

 

I have no idea if that's the case here but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

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