USF baseball coach Lelo Prado has lost his share of recruits to the allure of pro baseball, but on Friday, he lost his pitching coach. Chuck Hernandez is leaving the Bulls after two years on Prado's staff to return to the major leagues as the Miami Marlins' new pitching coach.
Pitching has been a strength of the Bulls in the last two seasons, with Randy Fontanez and Andrew Barbosa ranking among the Big East's best arms. His departure leaves Prado scrambling to find a replacement -- the Bulls will have a young, largely unproven pitching staff, making this hire a crucial part of the team's success in 2013. USF led the Big East with a 3.53 staff ERA in 2012.
Hernandez, who came to USF with a wealth of major-league experience, is the second member of Mike Redmond's new Marlins staff with USF ties -- his hitting coach is former Bulls volunteer assistant Tino Martinez, who is Prado's brother-in-law.