ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Struggling with runners in scoring position is one of the glaring problems with the Marlins.
The frustration is shared, naturally, by the fans, as well as the players, coaches and the front office.
As a team, the Marlins' .215 average with runners in scoring position ranks 15th in the 16-team National League.
"If I'm a fan, I'd be looking and going, 'What's going on?'" hitting coach Eduardo Perez said. "The same here. As a coach, you put in the extra hours, you break it down. You take two, three guys out at a time, and work with them. The early BP, it's not just swinging and saying, 'Look how hard I hit it.' There is a plan to every batting practice."
Wasting scoring chances was an issue on Saturday night, when Miami won, 4-3, in 15 innings. The Marlins were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
A former big leaguer, Perez played from 1993-2006. His first hitting coach when he was a rookie with the Angels was Rod Carew.
"Rod Carew didn't know why I couldn't make the adjustment like that," Perez said.
Things came more easily for Carew, a Hall of Famer.
Perez learned to be upbeat from his ex-coaches, Mike Easler and Mitchell Page, who passed away in 2011.
"The thing is, for a coach, you didn't have to be a great player," Perez said. "What you need is to be a great communicator.
"We're all human. Do we get frustrated in a game? Yeah, we do. But my job is to make sure that player is prepared. What example am I going to show if I do get frustrated during the game. I have to be able to stay focused on the task at hand.
"I firmly believe what's done is done. You have to look forward. You have to keep working. You have to have fun at this thing. Teams that have success are teams that have fun at this game. Winning creates that fun atmosphere, but also fun creates winning."