Marlins part ways with four coaches

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MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have parted ways with four members of the coaching staff: pitching coach Juan Nieves, first base and infield coach Perry Hill, assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino, and strength and conditioning coach Ty Hill.

The Marlins are coming off of a 63-98 season, so it comes as no surprise that a coaching staff shakeup is in order. The club ranked dead last in the National League in runs scored per game (3.66) and allowed the second-most runs per game (5.02). Digging a little deeper, the Marlins had the fifth-worst batting average (.237), the third-worst on-base percentage (.303), and the worst slugging percentage (.357). On the pitching side, the Marlins’ staff ERA of 4.76 was the worst in the league and their 1,249 strikeouts were the fewest. The 605 walks issued were the third-highest total in the league.

Frisaro notes that bench coach Tim Wallach, hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo, third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, catching coach Brian Schneider, bullpen coach Dean Treanor, bullpen coodinator Rob Flippo, and administrative coach Ed Lucas are expected back for the 2019 season. There was also some speculation that manager Don Mattingly might be let go, but the club announced he will return next year.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.