Miami Marlins News: Reid Brignac and Jordany Valdespin Cut
By Ehsan Kassim
The Miami Marlins will kick off their 2015 season against the Atlanta Braves on April 6th. That is just 6 days away. However, before we get there, the Marlins need to set their 25-man roster for Opening Day. Coming into today, the team still had 34 players in camp.
That was reduced by 5 just a short while ago.
The cuts mean that Donovan Solano and Don Kelly won the competition for the last two bench spots over Reid Brignac and Jordany Valdespin. I predicted earlier this morning that Kelly and Brignac would win.
While the Marlins could option Valdespin down to Triple-A New Orelans and stash him in case of an injury emergency or lack of performance in the major leagues, I’d bet money on Red Brignac trying to latch on with another team that has an infield needs.
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These cuts reduce the Marlins to 30 players left in camp, with 5 more needing to be cut between today and by the end of the week.
These cuts, barring a drastic surprise, guarantee Solano and Kelly the final two bench spots, placing them with Ichiro Suzuki, Jeff Mathis and Jeff Baker as the 5 off the bench for the Fish.
Solano, who posted a .252/.300/.323 slash line with a 75 wRC+ in 2014, has proven himself to be a decent fielding utility man off the bench for the Marlins the past three seasons. His career line sits at .264/.315/.336 with a 80 wRC+. While his bat doesn’t provide a ton of value, he is capable of putting together spurts that help the team offensively.
This probably won’t sit well with a lot of fans, but Solano has actually been a superior player to starting short stop Adeiny Hechavarria in their young careers. Solano will be the Marlins backup short stop in 2015.
Don Kelly, best known for his heralded leadership, posted a .245/.332/.288 slash line with a 78 wRC+ last season with the Detroit Tigers. Those numbers, while not impressive at all, were actually an improvement over his career line of .232/.296/.336 with a 72 wRC+ for his career.
The great thing about Kelly is that he has the ability to play 6 positions in a flash, not including his ability to act as the emergency catcher when needed.
This seems to mean the team will carry the conventional 13 hitters and 12 pitchers on their 25 man roster. While the idea of a 13-man pitching staff was kicked around earlier this spring, cutting Andrew McKirahan yesterday all but removed any chance of that happening.