The Miami Marlins Continue to be a Work in Progress

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: J.T. Realmuto #11 and Nick Wittgren #64 of the Miami Marlins celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 28, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: J.T. Realmuto #11 and Nick Wittgren #64 of the Miami Marlins celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 28, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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After a year that saw the Miami Marlins finish 63-98 this season, there is plenty of optimism for next season.

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has plenty of chess pieces to move next season as the team attempts to improve on what was a campaign of development and growth. Mattingly, who will return next season, has not had a winning run with the team down in South Florida.

Next season appears to be more of the same.

"“You see the guys you lose, and you know trying to replace that production in the first year of a build is going to be hard, realistically,” Mattingly said Sunday before the season finale against the Mets at Citi Field. “You don’t think like that from the standpoint of how you’re going to prepare and go about your business.”"

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The game on Sunday, a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets, did more good than harm for the ball club. Sandy Alcantara re-established himself as a solid No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher in the rotation.

But there are signs this team is certainly headed in the right direction. Time and patience now become this organization’s best friend as they move on to another phase in the rebuild of a franchise that hasn’t seen the postseason since 2003 and a winning season since 2009.

The Marlins have more than enough young pitching to use throughout the season like this year. They also have options should the front office look to add power in the middle of the lineup or a closer to solidify one of their biggest weaknesses.

The development of hitters in the minors and the depth within the farm system is better than it was at this time last season. Trades and additions made the process of growth much easier to deal with.

Frisaro pointed out Alcantara’s impressive performance makes the decision to keep him in the rotation for next season a bit easier. As for the remainder of the staff, it’s undecided who stays and who opens the year in the minors.

"“In the next couple of days, the organization will decide who will be renewed or not,” he wrote."

Elieser Hernandez and Brett Graves are names to watch in the future. Both were Rule 5 draft picks who remained on the team’s active roster all season and now can continue their growth process in the minors.

How players like Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards, Caleb Smith, and Jeff Brigham round out the rotation or find another starting point in the organization is a mystery.

Mattingly told the media position players are just as important to the success of the team and wants the youngsters on the roster to grow and develop as well.

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