What will the Marlins rotation look like in 2019?

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 14: Pitcher Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins hands the ball to manager Don Mattingly #8 to leave the game while catcher J.T. Realmuto #11 looks on in the fifth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 14, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 14: Pitcher Trevor Richards #63 of the Miami Marlins hands the ball to manager Don Mattingly #8 to leave the game while catcher J.T. Realmuto #11 looks on in the fifth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 14, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /
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What will the Miami Marlins rotation look like in 2019? Will there be a surprise or two as the team approaches Spring Training with plenty of prospects on board in camp?

The only thing we do know for now the Miami Marlins will start the 2019 season with three veterans at the front of the pitching rotation and plenty of questions about the back end of the starting five as four youngsters could battle for the final two slots.

It’s one of the more interesting storylines to follow this offseason and in camp as the coaching staff has a better idea of how the rotation will shape up this year compared to last. Now that prospects Trevor Richards, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Caleb Smith are now a year older and a bit more developed, the decision making is a little more clear.

Or is it?

"“How the rotation goes will largely determine how long the Marlins’ rebuilding process takes. Based on talent and depth, there are many interesting options for Miami, either starters who will be on the Opening Day roster or join the rotation over the course of the season,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com."

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Do the Marlins consider making a deal to help make manager Don Mattingly’s decision a bit easier? Probably not unless an offer is made during Spring Training or a playoff contender wants to make a deal for a veteran for a postseason run.

"“Jose Urena has cemented himself as the ace. Dan Straily is an experienced right-hander and Wei-Yin Chen is projected to be the lone left-hander. If Straily isn’t dealt before Spring Training, he profiles as the No. 2 starter,” Frisaro explains."

There has been some talk this offseason teams are looking to add Straily, who is entering his third season with the team, for veteran depth. Injuries last season took away the start and end of his season.

Richards and Alcantara look to be the two youngsters who get the nod for the fourth and fifth slots. Both Smith and Lopez made starts as rookies in 2018, but were shutdown because of injuries.

"“Smith missed the second half due to surgery to repair a left pectoral muscle, and Lopez missed all of September with a shoulder issue,” Frisaro added."

The one pitcher I think has a chance to shock everyone is Nick Neidert. Neidert is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins’ No. 4 prospect, spent the 2018 season in Jacksonville (the team’s Double-A affiliate) and was named Miami’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Like Lopez, who started the season in Jacksonville before moving to New Orleans (Triple-A) and then the Majors, he could be the best choice to make the leap this season.

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