Six games into Spring Training of 2019, we’re starting to see some trends emerge.
The Miami Marlins entered live extramural contests on February 23rd, losing 11-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals. They’re 2-4 after six games, but the win-loss record is not very important at this time of the season.
There’s 14 guys trying to get onto the Opening Day roster, and four positions available on the infield. Either one or two utility positions will be used, depending on how many reserve outfielders the Miami Marlins choose to employ. For some, the path is much easier at this point in their careers. The first four players below are a virtual lock for the roster. The other 10 are in direct competition for, in essence, two spots.
Brian Anderson has gone three-for-10 in the early going, with four RBI. He’s drawn two walks and struck out only once, even adding a homer and a stolen base. In 19 innings playing at third base thus far, he has made one putout and assisted five times, including all three outs of the second inning in the Marlins win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.
Starlin Castro is 0-for-7 in the early going, with a pair of strikeouts in three games. Defensively, he’s perfect with two putouts and two assists in 14 innings of work.
Martin Prado has yet to appear this Spring Training, but he’s expected to make his on-field debut on Saturday.
Miguel Rojas has gone three-for-six with an RBI and one attempted stolen base, on Thursday. Of course, I say “attempted” because he was gunned down by Max Stassi trying to take second. Aside from that, Rojas has been mostly good in the field as well. You know you’re going to get an above average fielder at any position you put him in during the regular season. This year, he’s only taken five chances at shortstop over 14 innings, making an error. It’s the only infield error for the Marlins this spring.
Miami Marlins On the Fence
Neil Walker has started the season one-for-seven with a strikeout. He’s handled 11 putouts in his 14 innings of defensive work without an error.
JT Riddle is 0-for-8 in his first three games, with two strikeouts and a walk. He’s taken four chances at short without error.
Isan Diaz didn’t have a hit until his 10th at bat, striking out five times in his first nine plate appearances. Since then, he’s connected on a home run and added a double. Defensively at second, he’s taken eight chances cleanly, and participated in one double play.
Peter O’Brien has not had a very good spring so far. The 6’4″, 235 lb. behemoth has struck out in seven of his first 11 plate appearances, failing to get on base in any of them. His modularity, however, makes him an attractive roster candidate. He’s handled six chances at first base and four in right field without incident.
In limited action, Garrett Cooper has gone three-for-seven at the plate, with a double, two runs, and an RBI. He’s drawn a walk and struck out once. Cooper has taken seven fielding chances at first cleanly.
Pedro Alvarez has struck out three times, drawn a walk, and is one-for-five with a single and a run scored on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, the natural third baseman has been used exclusively at first base, and handled a team-high 19 chances cleanly in 16 innings.
Dixon Machado is two-for-10 with a double and a pair of RBI. He struck out twice. He’s been perfect in seven chances at shortstop and has also made an assist at second base.
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Jon Berti has been solid in limited action for the Miami Marlins. He’s appeared in a team-high six games, and gone two-for-six with a double, a triple, two runs, and an RBI. He’s also stolen a base and struck out twice. The Marlins have used him at second and third for a total of 15 2/3 innings without incident.
Deven Marrero has started this spring one-for-eight with a run and two strikeouts, mostly as a pinch hitter. He’s only played a total of four innings in the field, all at second base and has made two putouts.
Yadiel Rivera is two-for-eight with a walk and a strikeout, along with two runs scored. Rivera’s real value lies in his defensive acuity, however, and he’s already played at first, third, and shortstop this spring. He’s errorless over 19 innings of work, with two putouts and three assists.