Predicting the Miami Marlins Opening Day 25-Man Roster
By Ehsan Kassim
We are just 10 days away from Opening Day 2013 for the Miami Marlins. In the coming days, leading up to the Opener against the Washington Nationals, the Marlins will be making some more roster moves to get their active roster down to 25 players.
Notable players that will not make the Marlins roster will be top prospects Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. Fernandez was optioned to the minorslast week and Yelich will be sent down sometime before the season starts as well. Both players could make an impact with the Marlins by the end of the season, though.
Mar 9, 2013; Melbourne, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (76) against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Morrison and Jeff Mathis will also not be ready for Opening Day and will start the season on the disabled list. Both are expected to return to the team in early-May.
The Marlins released Chone Figgins yesterday, which is a sign that the baseball gods do not totally hate Marlins fans.
The team will continue to trim the roster from 42 to 25 over the next few days, here is my best prediction of what the 25-man roster will look like for the Marlins:
This one is obvious. Cishek has had the Marlins closer role down from the end of last season. I still believe he should have been the Marlins closer heading into last season, but let’s not cry over spilled milk.
More than likely, the Marlins will carry two left-handed relievers on their roster. Dunn has been phenomenal this spring, posting an impressive 1.29 ERA in seven innings. Jennings has not been overly impressive this spring, but he is likely the best option for the Marlins to use. I am not 100% sold on Jennings making the roster, but this is my prediction for now.
Rest of the Bullpen:
Manager Mike Redmond has already mentioned numerous times that Rauch will handle the set-up duties for Cishek, so he is all but a lock to make the team, even with his struggles this spring. Webb also seems like a lock for the Marlins pen. His future with the Marlins hinges on his performance this season. Lastly, I have Kevin Slowey making the Marlins team as a reliever, but he could also make the team as the fifth starter.
Mar 17, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco(47) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nolasco was the named the Marlins Opening Day starter a while back and was a lock to make the team, barring a trade. Alvarez and Eovaldi are interchangeable, both have live arms and need to induce more whiffs in order to be successful. LeBlanc will be the Marlins lone lefty in the rotation and has had an impressive spring for the team. Finally, though he has struggled mightily this spring, I expect Turner to make the team based on the comments made by Redmond following his last start. This is what pushes Slowey to the Marlins bullpen.