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Menechino, Marlins preach patience at plate

Menechino, Marlins preach patience at plate

JUPITER, Fla. -- A handful of games is hardly enough time to form a true sample size. But early on, the Marlins can tell if their players are offering a good approach.

New hitting coach Frank Menechino is stressing patience and not missing pitches to hit.

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Thus far, there has been mixed reviews. The first few games, the club did a solid job in that area. It wasn't so much the case in Monday's 4-0 loss to the Astros. In the first two innings, the Marlins were retired on 17 pitches.

In the second inning on Tuesday against the Twins, a couple of two-out quality at-bats led to a run.

Greg Dobbs delivered a two-out single to center, putting runners on the corners. Ed Lucas slapped an RBI single to right.

"Frank has talked a lot about approach, and taking pitches and trying to work deep into counts," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think the first few games, we've done a nice job with it. [On Monday], we didn't do very well at that. We were aggressive, and kind of came out of our game plan.

"But that's going to happen in Spring Training. The first week or so is always an adjustment for guys. They know they're only going to get a couple of at-bats. Hitters are working on their swings. Sometimes you get so mechanical, you forget about the approach side of it."

After finishing last in the Majors in runs scored last year, the Marlins are seeking every way possible to generate more offense. It starts with the basics.

"We've really been preaching the approach and getting good pitches to hit and working counts," Redmond said. "That's key for us, to get guys on base for the middle of the order. If you get yourself in a better count, you'll get a better pitch. At the end of the day, that's really the bottom line."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less