A familiar face is rejoining the Miami Marlins this season.
Tim Healy of sun-sentinel.com writes that Ed Lucas, a journeyman utility player who played his only two major league seasons with the Marlins, is back with the club as an administrative coach and video replay coordinator.
“Having him back feels good, and we’re happy he accepted,” Marlins president David Samson said. “Eddie was such a great teammate and such a great guy to have around. Bringing him back into the game — in a position that is so important given the rules of replay — we’re happy about that.”
The Marlins have brought back Fredi Gonzalez, the former manager of the ball club, to become the team’s third base coach. There have been other changes to Don Mattingly’s coaching staff, including the signing of Mike Pagliarulo to serve as hitting instructor, replacing Barry Bonds who was in south Florida for one season.
As an administrative coach, Lucas will help out in any capacity needed by the organization, says Healy. This may include throwing batting practice and hitting fungos pregame. As video replay coordinator, he’ll be the Marlins’ man in the video room during games to help the bench decide whether or not to challenge a call on the field.
The Kansas City Royals selected Lucas in the eighth round of the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft. As Lucas could not return to college, he had little leverage in negotiations, and received a $1,000 signing bonus. He made his minor league baseball debut with the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Rookie-level Pioneer League, and earned $101 a month after expenses. Needing to work during the offseason, Lucas took jobs in construction, substitute teaching, bartending, and as a temp for the Charles Schwab Corporation.
In 2013, Lucas signed with the Miami Marlins. After batting .304 in his first 46 games with the New Orleans Zephyrs of the PCL, the Marlins promoted Lucas to the major leagues for the first time on May 29, 2013. He played in 94 total games, hitting .256, with 4 home runs and 28 runs batted in. The next season, Lucas continued his utility role, batting .251 in 69 games.