So much for Randy St. Claire's long, lonely winter hunting and ice fishing near his home in upstate New York. St. Claire landed a big one -- a position as the Marlins new pitching coach -- that should keep him occupied the rest of the winter.
"I'm very excited -- what a great staff to be able to work with," said St. Claire, who was offered the job late Monday night. "I've seen them pitch a whole lot, and it's a very talented group, and I'm looking forward to working with them. I'm not going to come in and start making wholesale changes on guys. I think some of the guys have pretty solid mechanics, and their deliveries are good. It's more watching them and getting familiar with them and seeing if there are some minor things that can lead to major changes."
The process for St. Claire will start immediately. The former pitching coach for the Washington Nationals, who was fired on June 1 while in his seventh season, said he plans to contact every Marlins pitcher -- including those likely to enter free agency -- just to introduce himself. He said he'll also begin studying video footage from the past season and will likely head out to the Arizona Fall League to have a look at Andrew Miller.
The Marlins think highly of St. Claire and believe he can help a young staff that finished ninth in the National League in earned run average (4.29). He replaces Mark Wiley, who was offered another job by the Marlins.
The Marlins had interest in hiring former Diamondbacks and Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price, but he opted to become pitching coach of the Cincinnati Reds.
St. Claire was a coach in the Montreal Expos minor league system in 2002 when owner Jeffrey Loria essentially traded in the Expos for the Marlins. St. Claire could have joined the Marlins organization at that time but decided to stay with the Expos for family reasons.
St. Claire pitched for five teams in a nine-year major league career, finishing with a 12-6 record, nine saves and a 4.14 ERA.