Ozzie Guillen brought bench Joey Cora with him from the White Sox to the Marlins, but it looks like the rest of Florida’s coaching staff is going to remain mostly the same under the new manager.
Last week the Marlins announced that hitting coach Eduardo Perez and pitching coach Randy St. Claire would be staying for 2012 and now Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that third base coach Joe Espada and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius will also be retained.
Former bench coach Brandon Hyde lost his gig to Cora and first base coach Perry Hill won’t be coming back in 2012 because of a knee injury.
Meanwhile, back in Chicago pitching coach Don Cooper got a multi-year contract extension and hitting coach Greg Walker stepped down immediately after the season.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.