Jennings could stick in manager's role

Front office, clubhouse in unison behind first-time skipper

Jennings could stick in manager's role

MIAMI -- Dan Jennings' future in the dugout may extend beyond 2015.

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The Marlins publicly say they will assess at the end of the season, but Jennings is growing into the role of manager and may find himself in the same position next year, according to sources.

In an unconventional move, the Marlins replaced Mike Redmond on May 18 with Jennings, who made the transition from general manager to manager. The decision garnered plenty of attention, mainly because Jennings had never managed or coached at the professional level.

But Jennings does have 31 years of professional experience as a scout, evaluator and front office executive. He was less than two full months into his second season as general manager when he agreed to go into the dugout.

The Marlins are united in the clubhouse, and are playing hard for Jennings, whose ideas are on the same page as the front office.

If the team has a successful second half, and Jennings continues to embrace the opportunity, managing next season is a strong possibility.

The sense around the team is they are bonding together, especially with several key starting pitchers either now off the disabled list or are close to being reinstated.

Mat Latos (left knee inflammation) made his triumphant return from the disabled list and struck out 11 last Saturday in a win over the Rockies. Right-hander Jarred Cosart (vertigo) is throwing what the club anticipates will be his final rehab assignment start at Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday. And Jose Fernandez, the ace of the staff, has targeted July 2 as his return from Tommy John surgery.

Once healthy, the Marlins anticipate they will start moving up in the standings. If they do, and Jennings isn't leaning towards moving back into the front office, he could become a fixture in the dugout.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.