|Wiley hired for 2nd stint as Marlins' pitching coach|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 02 November 2007 11:27|
Wiley was special assistant for baseball operations with the Colorado Rockies the past two years. He succeeds Rick Kranitz, the Marlins' pitching coach in 2006-07.
After leaving the Marlins, Kranitz was hired last month as pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles.
Plagued by injuries this year, the Marlins finished last in the NL with a 4.94 ERA. Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco - who combined for 33 wins as rookies in 2006 - missed most of the year, and Willis and Scott Olsen had disappointing seasons.
Despite speculation Willis or Olsen might be traded this offseason, Wiley said he's optimistic both will be on his staff.
``Right now there is no big push to do anything with either one of those guys, as far as the indication I got,'' Wiley said. ``We talked about getting those guys grounded and feeling better about themselves and performing better. But there was no urgency about dealing either one of them.''
Willis was runnerup for the Cy Young Award the year he worked with Wiley. This season Willis went 10-15 with a career-high 5.17 ERA.
``At times there were certain parts of the strike zone he didn't command as well as he had,'' Wiley said. ``It could be the way he sets up, it could be a physical thing, it could be a mental thing.''
The 58-year-old Wiley has been in professional baseball for 38 years. He has spent 15 seasons as a pitching coach, including jobs with Baltimore, Cleveland and Kansas City.
``Mark is an accomplished pitching coach, and we are excited to have him back,'' Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said in a statement. ``He will be an important part of our young pitchers' development and success.''
The year Wiley was pitching coach, the Marlins were eighth in the NL with a 4.16 ERA. He departed when manager Jack McKeon retired and was replaced by Joe Girardi.
``I was treated great when I was here before,'' Wiley said. ``A lot of times things happen when you're changing managers. I was in a situation where I didn't want to be gone, and I'm very pleased to be back and have an opportunity again.''
The hiring completes manager Fredi Gonzalez's coaching staff for the 2008 season. Returning will be Carlos Tosca (bench), Jim Presley (hitting), Bo Porter (third base-outfield), Andy Fox (first base-infield), Steve Foster (bullpen) and Pierre Arsenault (bullpen coordinator).