Giancarlo Stanton chose Miami Marlins coach Pat Shine as his pitcher for Monday's Home Run Derby.
Choosing a pitcher is one of the most important decisions for every HR Derby participant. Seeing hittable fastballs can make the difference between an early exit and a championship. Some players choose a relative and others choose a coach like Stanton has done.
When Stanton last participated in the HR Derby, Mike Redmond was his pitcher. At the time, Redmond was managing the Marlins and routinely threw batting practice. Shine has thrown BP for Stanton for a couple of years now and the two should have a good rhythm.
“I was fired up,” Shine told the Miami Herald. “He asked what my plans were for the All-Star break. I told him I was planning on playing golf, but I’m way better at throwing [batting practice].”
When Shine isn't throwing BP, he serves a very important role for the Marlins. His official titles are Administrative Coach and Video Replay Coordinator. Shine stays out of the dugout, but is every bit as important as every coach in the dugout. When a close play occurs, its Shine on the other end of the phone deciding if the Marlins should challenge or not.
This is Shine's third year as a Marlins coach and he has had one of the highest replay success rates in all of baseball. Stanton is hoping that Shine can carry that success onto the big stage at Petco Park. This will be Shine's first appearance at the HR Derby and butterflies can be expected.
The 2016 Home Run Derby will take place on Monday at 8:00 p.m.