Even as current skipper Dan Jennings finishes out the season, the Miami Marlins continue to search for new managerial candidates. The Marlins have reportedly offered Jennings, a former GM, an opportunity to return to the front office. Independent of that situation, however, Marlins owner Jeff Loria is looking to hire someone with prior experience as a big league manager.
The latest reported interviewees reflect that desire. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Miami has interviewed Bo Porter for the opening. Porter is a former skipper for the Astros and current third base coach for the Braves. He also has a history with the Marlins, as he was the third base coach in Miami from 2007-09. Porter is still only 43, and he developed a solid reputation as a younger coach while in Houston.
Heyman also lists Manny Acta as the only other known candidate that's been interviewed. Acta, 46, has experience as a manager with both the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians. His proficiency in Spanish could be a valuable asset when evaluating his ability to communicate in the clubhouse.
There's also talk that veteran skipper Dusty Baker is on Miami's radar, but there's no indication that the Marlins have reached out to bring him in.
Here's some other interesting buzz making its way around the majors today:
Colorado Rockies: Wilin Rosario went from starting catcher to part-time catcher to backup/platoon first baseman over the past few seasons with Colorado. This week, he told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he's open to a trade away from one of the worst franchises in baseball if it means a larger role with another team: “If they want to move me, I’m good with it. If it gives me a chance to play more, I’m fine with it.” Rosario, 26, clubbed 49 homers in his first two seasons in the majors. Since then, his numbers at the plate have taken a hit, and he's seen reduced playing time. He has started just 53 games this season -- almost all at first base. He was moved away from catcher because he struggled blocking pitches, framing pitches, and throwing out runners. In short, he's shown red flags in areas essential for any big-league catcher. Nevertheless, Rosario still thinks of himself as a catcher, and he told Saunders that he can produce given more time at and behind the plate. He does not, however, harbor any bitterness toward the Rockies; if anything, he's grateful that they made the adjustment to first base to at least keep him on the field. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich added that he's noted improvement in Rosario's glovework at first base, but that it's too early to make a definitive statement on his future with the club. Bridich did admit in August, though, that trade interest in Rosario was limited.
Justin Upton: The outfielder's injury, albeit minor, after colliding with the outfield wall could be the final straw that sends the impending free agent packing this winter. It's still unclear whether or not the San Diego Padres will make a move to keep him, but it seems as though people have been digging for a reason for him to leave since mid-season. The 28-year-old is the third highest-paid player on San Diego's payroll this season but has woefully disappointed at the plate. His .336 OBP and .454 SLG make him one of the more productive players on the Padres' roster (not that that's saying much), but he's fallen far short of the offensive stardom that put him on San Diego's radar prior to the season. Of course, Upton is plenty young enough to have several more productive years, but it remains to be seen if he'll spend them in San Diego.
Washington Nationals: What do the Nationals do with Yunel Escobar? With regular third baseman Anthony Rendon set to return to third base following a knee injury, Escobar finds himself booted out of the infield. CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman outlines Escobar's options. Escobar's natural position is shortstop, and with teammate Ian Desmond likely departing in free agency, there will be an opening. However, Escobar's return to short is unlikely since the Nationals have two potentially elite shortstop options in Danny Espinosa and top prospect Trea Turner. So does he move to second? The Nationals could certainly use his bat there, but he's had very little experience at the position. In any event, Nationals manager Matt Williams is likely to stick him in one spot for the entirety of next spring once he decides: "His natural position is shortstop. But if it has to be a different one, he would benefit from having the whole spring to play those 20-ish games he can play over there and do all the work he needs to do."