Mar 24, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Jake Marisnick (23) connects for a double during a game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins Outfield Dilemna


Jake Marisnick could be the future in center field for the Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins could have a situation brewing in their outfield. As Christian Yelich heads to the disabled list, the Marlins have enlisted the services of young Jake Marisnick to fill his place. Marisnick was an easy choice, as he has been tearing apart pitching in AAA New Orleans, and has all the tools to be a solid major leaguer. Many view Jake as the center fielder of the future for the Marlins, but his career got off to a bit of a slow start.

Marisnick has flashed all kinds of talent in the minor leagues, dominating at AA Jacksonville in 2013 prior to being a midseason call-up last year. Unfortunately for him, his call-up was less than desirable. He struggled mightily and those struggles continued into spring training in 2014. He broke camp with New Orleans and after a slow start, has really come on the last few weeks.

This is where the problem resides. The Marlins have 4 talented outfielders that are all pretty unique with their skill set. No doubt the crown jewel of the outfield is MVP-candidate Giancarlo Stanton. He is entrenched in right field as long as he dons the Fish uniform. The other three players have potential, but they are all very young. Yelich, Marisnick, and Marcell Ozuna have shown flashes of all-star level ability, with Yelich probably being the more polished of the trio at this point. Ozuna certainly has the most raw power, but also the strikeout numbers to go-along with such a big, free swing.

Marisnick, on the other hand, might have the highest ceiling out of all of them. He has more power than Yelich, and more plate discipline than Ozuna. He has great instincts defensively, often showcasing surprising speed for the big outfielder. So what happens if Marisnick absolutely rakes during his call-up with Miami?

He just might force the Marlins to make a decision regarding the future of their outfield sooner than they would like. The question becomes, who is the odd man out? Obviously Stanton is safe, and Yelich will likely be manning left field when he returns, so it seems to be between Marisnick and Ozuna.

I believe the Marlins want Marisnick to take the job, but they aren’t going to hand it to him if he is struggling. He is going to have to earn it. Either way, Miami will roll with these 4 outfielders until the off-season, during which they will make a trade.

If Miami is unable to sign Stanton to a long-term contract, it is certainly conceivable that he would be trade bait. He would certainly bring back the best players in a trade, and if the Marlins feel that they are going to lose him anyway, I could see it happening. I am not rooting for it, but the move is at least defensible.

I am hoping that Marisnick plays well enough to take the center field job. He would be a fine leadoff hitter, certainly one of the best options that the Marlins have right now.  Time will tell what Miami chooses to do, but that decision may be the difference between years of contention or prolonged failure. Do you trust them to make the right one?

 

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  • Pelu Maad

    Classic situation for which there is a classic solution……Stanton even looks like a first baseman.

    • Chris Logel

      I don’t know if Stanton is the answer at first base. He is an above average outfielder, and just because you are big doesn’t mean that you can play first base. Also he is going to cost a lot. I would rather make a trade and get an actual first baseman…and shortstop…and second baseman…

      • Pelu Maad

        Stanton has a history of leg issues…he may be better off not trying to cover the right field created by today’s shifts. Though he looks like he’d punish a wall by crashing into it…..we’ve just seen him hurt his wrist. We agree on the bottom line…..he’ll be traded rather than paid in Miami. You don’t think Hechavarria will develop to the trade or pay stage? Dietrich won’t get his glove together?

        • Chris Logel

          I don’t hate Hech or Dietrich, but I think we could still upgrade the position. That being said, I have more faith that Dietrich will develop the glove than I do in Hech. I think that Hech will eventually be moved like everyone from the Marlins, but they won’t get much in return. I think his glove has taken a step back and he isn’t going to figure out how to get on base enough to be valuable.

    • jigokusabre

      Stanton is a pretty good RF himself. Asking him to accept a position change he might not like when he has every reason to skip town already is a poor choice.

      • Pelu Maad

        “Skip town”???…..you mean exercise free agency….to get paid? Not to worry…..they’ll trade him first.

    • Lee Stoops

      No matter where Giancarlo hits, he’ll still take fastballs down the middle for strikes and swing at balls a foot outside in the dirt.

      • Pelu Maad

        He does seem to make every slider outside look like Steve Carlton threw it.

  • Lee Stoops

    Can we trust management’s judgement? Why not? After all, they had the good sense to sign washed up Rafael Furcal, Randy Wolf, Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg, right? I have no faith at atll … the last being burned up when Dietrich was sent down. DD has the best approach at the plate of any Marlin and has All Star potential in the very near future. I truly believe that Dietrich vs. Furcal/Lucas at second over the last dozen games would have meant two or three added wins for the Fish … who would now be five or six games over .500 and in in first place. DD’s numbers at NO have not been good or great, they’ve been the best in baseball over a 10 or 12 game span.

    • Pelu Maad

      Dietrich’s glove needs work. Furcal is looking better than I expected. I lived in Atlanta when he came up. He’s twice as big now but still seems to have some quickness…I’m a big Ed Lucas fan. He’s a top quality utility guy….a pro.

    • Chris Logel

      I actually have more faith in them than I did last year. I agree that the players you named were not good signings, but you conveniently left out McGehee, Salty, and Jones who have all contributed to us playing .500 baseball through June. The truth is, unless the fans start showing up in droves, we will never have the 80 million dollar budget that the Braves have. We have to take a chance on the cheaper veterans, We have been more successful in that dept. than we were last year with Polanco and Pierre.

      Once Dietrich gets his glove figured out, he will be the next Dan Uggla for Miami, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Uggla was good for us while he was here.