Morning Marlin Maniacs. Just a few short days until actual games get underway this vernal season for the Miami Marlins against the mighty Redbirds of St. Louis.
We might not be in the same class as the Cardinals, but we can certainly play them many, many times while taking turns being the home team at Roger Dean Stadium.
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Plenty to get through though now that more than just your pitchers and catchers have reported. Early roster buzz and some other scattered baseball chatter will get the ball rolling on this final installment before we get the chance to overanalyze early season showings.
Once a week, the staff here at Marlin Maniac sits down to pull some questions out of a hat that concern everyone’s favorite baseball team. The answers? While those get pulled from somewhere else, we list them below for your enjoyment
Avid readers are fully encouraged to submit questions they’d like to see the staff discuss via Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments. They are also encouraged to come up with a better title than Miami Marlins RTD. But until that day of deliverance, let’s get to the Round Table Discussion.
How Do You Feel About The Decision To Go With A Four Man Bench?
Sean Millerick: It’s certainly interesting, and a borderline video game move. It could be brilliant though, if the club stays healthy. The fourth outfielder is a future first ballot Hall of Famer, and three of the four are essentially interchangeable in terms of positioning. Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas can play multiple positions, and if J.T. Realmuto was able to play shortstop once upon a time, he can play first now. But…this team never stays healthy. And as such, I’d of felt a lot better paying Chris Carter, Mark Reynolds, or even Chase Utley to hang around.
David Marcillo: With Don Mattingly running/ruining the bullpen, having an extra arm out there seems more important than having an extra bat on the bench. Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas can play all over the infield and Ichiro can play all over the outfield. While it may make for some starting pitchers pinch hitting or pinch running in extra inning games, I like the decision, especially in the beginning of the season. It’s not something that is likely to last, as guys will get just-hurt-enough-to-miss-a-few-games-but-not-go-on-the-DL sooner or later, and that will create a three-man bench for a few days, perhaps prompting a position player to be called up in exchange for an expendable bullpen arm.
Seth Moed: Overall, this move does seem to make sense at the moment considering the versatility of those four bench players. With this strategy, the Marlins are able to maintain the depth of their bullpen which needs to continue to be a strength for this team deep into this season in order to obtain a playoff berth. The strong potential of injury will of course make this strategy a risk, but the Marlins will have an easier time finding an extra bat rather than a quality reliever if they need one on the fly down the road.
Eric Quinones: Ideally I’d like to see at least five guys on the bench in case there’s an extra inning game or in the event of double switches throughout the game. I’d like to see a solid right handed bat come off the bench as well and right now the Fish don’t have that option because Ichiro and Dietrich are both very good left handed hitters. A.J. Ellis and Miguel Rojas are right handed hitters but are known more for their defensive play. Entering Spring Training the Marlins are lacking a solid right handed bat who can pinch hit late in games against the opposing team’s best left handed pitcher. This is an issue that Donnie Baseball needs to find a solution to.