Would the Miami Marlins coaching staff decide to use a six-man rotation at the start of the season after the success of the many young arms in camp?
I think it is fair to say the Miami Marlins have a pitching staff that could one of the best in Major League baseball in the not too distant future. It’s also fair to say that because of the success of these young pitchers this Spring, tough decisions must be made about who comes and who goes when final cuts are made.
Or, do they have to be?
Would the Marlins, who are riding an 11-game winning streak in the Grapefruit League (I love writing that), think of adding a sixth man to the rotation? How much sense does it make given Wei-Yin Chen is still on the roster, Jose Urena and Dan Straily will be the team’s top two starters and there are four pitchers who have been better than advertised in March?
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It is something manager Don Mattingly has kicked around but has not made a firm decision just yet. He said he can work, but not all the time.
"“Not on a regular basis,” Mattingly said of a six-man rotation. “Depending how it shakes out, we could blend guys in to give guys rest. Maybe slip them into [the rotation] for a turn, just to keep innings off other guys or something like that. But there’s no sense of, ‘We’re going to use six guys and all are starters.’ We would not do that.”"
Trevor Richards, Pablo Lopez and Caleb Smith have all shown they could be serious players on the Major League level, which creates a logjam of sorts. If Sand Alcantara is penciled in as the team’s No. 3 starter and Chen becomes a long reliever, it gives Mattingly more options to play with in determining the rest of his rotation.
"“Chen is viewed as the most realistic starter to be used mostly out of the bullpen, while making an appearance every now and then in the rotation,” Joe Frisaro added."
Add the potential for injuries and this idea becomes more viable for the start of the season. The success in spring ball must translate to the regular season for this to work and “become a thing” for this organization.
As Spring Training comes to an end and players are reassigned to minor league teams, the chances of it happening increase. The Marlins now have 39 players in camp and must trim the roster to 25 players. There is still time to make a lasting impression on Mattingly and the front office.
Also from Dusenbury, The Marlins beat the Cardinals 6-0 for their 11th straight win, tying a franchise spring training record. The 1997 Marlins team did the same thing. That roster won the team’s first World Series title. We can hope, can’t we?