Marlins tab GM Dan Jennings to replace Mike Redmond as manager

MIAMI -- Even the mother of the Miami Marlins' new manager is questioning the wisdom of the choice.

Marlins general manager Dan Jennings was selected Monday to replace Mike Redmond in the dugout. Jennings has 31 years of experience in professional baseball, but he never played in the majors and has never managed.

"There's really an element of surprise to everybody here. It is outside the box, I will not deny that," Jennings said at a news conference. "My mom, whom I love deeply, asked me, 'Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?'"

Redmond, who was in his third season, was fired Sunday after the Marlins nearly were no-hit in a 6-0 loss to Atlanta that completed a three-game sweep. The defeat dropped Miami to 16-22, but team president David Samson said a change had been in the works since the Marlins started 3-11.

The Marlins dropped Jennings' debut, falling 3-2 in 13 innings to the Diamondbacks on Monday night.

The shake-up was the latest orchestrated by owner Jeffrey Loria, reinforcing his reputation for impatience. Jennings is Loria's sixth manager since June 2010.

No other candidates were considered, Samson said, in part because the Marlins have gone through so many managers already.

"There's nowhere else to look anymore," Samson conceded. "We're running out."

The Marlins consulted with Commissioner Rob Manfred and complied with Major League Baseball's minority hiring requirements, Samson said.

Former players have become first-time managers in the majors, but the move from the front office to the dugout is unusual. According to Baseball Reference, Jennings is the first major league skipper with no experience as a manager or big league player since Braves owner Ted Turner managed his team for one game in 1977.

"We wanted a leader," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We wanted a motivator. We wanted someone knowledgeable in the game. There's no better person I can think of. There's no one who knew our players better than DJ."

Jennings joined the Marlins in 2002 and ascended from vice president of player personnel to the general manager position after the 2013 season. Hill said the team would re-evaluate the manager position after the season.

"Our expectation is this will go on as long as it's going to go," Hill said.

Jennings has spent the bulk of his career as a talent evaluator. He worked as a scout with the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners before going to work for the Tampa Bay Rays as the team's scouting director in 1995. He was responsible for the selections of Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, James Shields and Rocco Baldelli, among numerous other future big leaguers.

"There are going to be cynics," said Jennings, who was elected to the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame in 2012. "There are a lot of managers who arrive in that chair via a different path. We now have a new path."

He played baseball at the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey College before a brief stint as a pitcher with the New York Yankees organization in the mid-1980s. He coached baseball at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama, but has no coaching or managing experience at the professional level.

Jennings said he hesitated before agreeing to change jobs, and stipulated he wanted Mike Goff as his bench coach. Goff, who had been an advance scout, was a coach for the Mariners in 2005-2007. He replaces Rob Leary.

By going with Jennings, Loria will avoid the expense of adding someone to the payroll. Redmond was under contract through 2017. Loria also is still paying Ozzie Guillen, who had three years left on his deal when he was fired as manager in 2012.

Bench coach Rob Leary also was fired Sunday and replaced in that position by Mike Goff, who was a Marlins advance scout. Goff was a coach for the Mariners from 2005 to 2007.

"Looking forward, we need a different set of skills to harness the potent combination of talent we've put together," Loria said in a statement. "We can't think of anyone better suited for the job than Dan Jennings."

Jennings is under contract through 2018, and it's possible he'll return to the job of general manager after this season, Samson said. For now the GM duties will be delegated to others in the front office.

The Marlins had the same 16-22 record in May 2003 when Loria fired Jeff Torborg as manager. Replacement Jack McKeon led a turnaround that resulted in an improbable run to the World Series title.

The Marlins haven't been to the postseason since, but they began this year with high hopes after a busy winter.

The Marlins have lost nine of their past 13 games and are fourth in the NL East.

"These guys now just need to believe they are a good team, and I believe this will be the message as we go forward," Jennings said. "In my heart, this is a playoff team. I love those kids in that clubhouse."

Redmond went 62-100 in his first year as a major league manager with the Marlins in 2013. They improved to 77-85 last year, ending a streak of three consecutive last-place finishes in the NL East. Their 15-win improvement tied for the best in the National League by a 100-loss team since 1986.

Redmond became the second big league manager to lose his job this season. Milwaukee fired Ron Roenicke on May 4 and replaced him with Craig Counsell.

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.