Former New York Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez was hired as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins to revive an offense that scored the second-fewest runs in Major League Baseball last season.
Martinez, 44, fills the void left by Eduardo Perez, now bench coach for the Houston Astros, Marlins spokesman P.J. Loyello said today in an e-mail. A four-time World Series champion, Martinez is the first major hire for manager Mike Redmond, who was picked last week to succeed Ozzie Guillen.
A native of Tampa, Florida, Martinez won World Series titles with the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. The two-time All-Star hit .271 with 339 home runs and 1,271 runs batted in over his 16-year career with the Seattle Mariners, Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The Marlins scored 609 runs last season, second fewest in the major leagues, and batted .244, worse than all but three clubs in the 16-team National League. The team hit .234 with runners in scoring position.
Miami finished 69-93 last season, 29 games behind the NL East-champion Washington Nationals, and failed to make the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season. The team moved into a $515 million, retractable-roof stadium prior to last season and spent almost $200 million on free agents, including $106 million on shortstop Jose Reyes and $58 million on pitcher Mark Buehrle.