Will the Miami Marlins tweak its starting rotation before the team begins the 2019 regular season? What happens to both Dan Straily and Wei-Yin Chen?
Michael Hill the president of baseball operations for the organization, spoke on WINZ 940 radio in Miami, He discussed five pitchers: Jose Urena, Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards, and Caleb Smith.
There was no discussion of veterans Dan Straily or Wei-Yin Chen. Does this mean the Marlins are looking to get even younger with their starting rotation, or what is this just in your mission? Does this also mean the stories I have recently written with regard to a possible trade involving Straily is mere speculation or a real possibility?
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Will the front office decide to cut ties with Chen, who is still having control issues that have plagued him since the second half of last season?
Alcantara continues to work on his control and more consistency on the mound. The right-hander who is expected to grab either the third or fourth spot in the rotation (with Straily part of the quintet) threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with four walks and three strikeouts in the 3-1 win over the Mets on Tuesday. Of the 59 pitches he threw, 30 were balls.
"“Today, I felt a little bit uncomfortable because I was like, all around the place, not around the zone,” Alcantara said through an interpreter following the game. “I was just doing my best to throw the ball [in the zone].”"
If the Marlins were to deal Straily, it would mean the front office has enough confidence in its young core of arms to improve over last season. With Urena named the Opening Day starter and the unquestioned ace of the rotation, will he take on more of a leadership role with his teammates and will Jorge Alfaro be able to work with and mold a younger staff?
Chen’s contract, which calls for him to make $20 million in 2019 and then $16 million in 2020 leaves the Marlins with few options about his future. If Miami releases him, the team eats the money on the payroll.
If the front office looks to find a trade partner, will another organization be willing to absorb such a large deal for marginal results?
Straily on the other hand is still a solid starter and could find a home with a contender looking for another veteran starter.
It is believed that if he does remain with the team until the MLB Trade Deadline, he will be dealt with other potential veterans to clear more payroll and give minor league prospects a chance to improve the team’s future now rather than later.
On Tuesday, the focus was on Alcantara and how he is still working to improve.
As Joe Frisaro pointed out, the 23-year-old is continuing to work on his curveball and slider, while his fastball touched as high as 97 mph Tuesday. His two-seam fastball (or sinker) had plenty of movement.
"“He’s got good stuff,” catcher Jorge Alfaro said. “His two-seam was running a lot into the righties, but he made the adjustment. He competed with all he had. It was a good start.”"