By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
There will be a new role for Andy Barkett with the Miami Marlins organization, according to a Marlins.com report last Friday.
Barkett, who managed the Suns from 2011-14 and a Southern League championship this past season, will now be the Marlins minor league assistant hitting coordinator.
For more on Barkett’s role: Joe Frisaro wrote:
Barkett will work closely with position players at the lower levels. At Jacksonville, he is credited for playing a big role in catcher J.T. Realmuto‘s progression.
The move ends Barkett’s four-year tenure as Jacksonville manager. The Suns never had a losing season with Barkett at the helm, and compiled a record of 294-262 along with the 2014 Southern League championship.
2015 will be Barkett’s first season not as a minor league manager since 2006 when he was the hitting coach of the GCL Braves. Before his time in Jacksonville, Barkett managed in Oneonta (2007) and the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers (2008-10).
Barkett had indicated near the end of the 2014 season that it would be his last year in Jacksonville.
“I’m pretty confident that this will be my last year managing the Suns,” said Barkett on September 1 before the regular season finale. “It’s been a pleasure doing it, it’s been a great experience for me. Jacksonville has become a home away from home for me, there’s probably not been if any better places to manage in the minor leagues than here in Jacksonville. For me the Southern League is a grind, the travel is really tough, especially from where we are. My kids are getting older, I’d like to spend more time at home if possible with a coordinator’s position if possible or something in pro scouting – you never know in baseball.”
Barkett has indicated the change to his new position on his Twitter page, and he is currently managing Águilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Republic.
Frisaro’s report also details other changes on minor league coordinators, which are important jobs from a Suns perspective as all coordinators check in with the ball club several times throughout the season.
Charlie Corbell, who had been the pitching coach at Triple-A New Orleans, is now the minor league pitching coordinator. Previous pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal is now the rehab coordinator based out of Jupiter, while previous rehab coordinator Jeff Schwartz will be the assistant pitching coordinator. John Pierson, previously the field coordinator, is now the hitting coordinator whom Barkett will assist.
Among those changes that may have an impact on the Suns coaching staff is the Triple-A pitching coach vacancy. John Duffy has been the Suns pitching coach for the past five years, and would presumably be a candidate to be promoted to New Orleans. Duffy has been with the Marlins organization for the past nine seasons.
The Suns coaching staff is typically announced by the Marlins sometime between December and January, as we’ll learn who will skipper the Suns in 2015.