The Miami Marlins have three games remaining this Spring Training. What questions still linger?
Earlier today, the visiting Miami Marlins faced the New York Mets on First Data Field, in Port St. Lucie, FL. With a partisan crowd of 6,373 in attendance, the Mets racked up six runs while holding the Marlins scoreless.
Mets starter Steven Matz threw the first pitch of the day to Miami Marlins leadoff hitter, 2B Miguel Rojas at 1:10 P.M. EST. Rojas grounded out, 6-3 to open things, then the two clubs played for the next two hours and 49 minutes, mostly, let’s face it, just to “play the game.”
Here’s a few things that we noticed in today’s contest.
Chen’s Best Performance Isn’t Good Enough
Despite being the Miami Marlins most expensive player, lefty starter Wei-Yin Chen isn’t nearly the pitcher that the Marlins thought he was, four years ago.
In five innings of work, Chen allowed five earned runs on seven hits, a wild pitch, and an HBP. Two of the hits he surrendered were of the long-ball variety, but hey, at least he didn’t walk anyone. The performance was one of the better ones for Chen this spring.
I’m firmly of the mind that of the seven rotational candidates going into Opening Day, Chen is the clear number seven choice. My rotation, for your consideration, features José Ureña, Trevor Richards, Pablo Lopez, Caleb Smith, and Dan Straily. Send Chen to the bullpen, if they decide not to cut him entirely, and send Sandy Alcantara to triple-A for a little work on his strike zone. If Smith isn’t ready, Alcantara is still an upgrade over Chen.
Anderson Looks Good
The Miami Marlins acquired right-handed reliever Nick Anderson from the Minnesota Twins in November, for infielder Brian Schales. In four minor league seasons, Anderson is 16-7 with a 2.25 ERA, 232 K’s in 182 2/3 innings, and a 0.94 WHIP. Last season at the triple-A level, he finished with a 3.30 ERA over 60 innings.
Anderson has a better-than-average chance at breaking camp with the Miami Marlins. In my last bullpen feature, I put his chances at making the club somewhere around 70 percent.
Dean Sent Down, Granderson’s Contract Selected
I get that Curtis Granderson is going to provide leadership in the locker room, it’s just a shame that it had to come at Austin Dean‘s expense. Granderson is hitting .160 this spring, going four-for-25 with a double, a homer, and three RBI.
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Meanwhile, after tearing up the minor leagues last season, Dean hit .221 in the last month of 2018 for the Miami Marlins. This spring, he’s hitting .364 with as many walks as strikeouts (four). He has gone 12-for-33 with a pair of doubles and seven RBI. There’s not much left for him to prove at triple-A. All he can do at this point is bide his time. He’ll get called up before too long.
Prado Continuing to Heat Up
Martin Prado started the spring in an 0-for-15 slump, he’s collected nine hits in his more recent 15. The bad times followed by the good times have averaged out to a .300 average. Today, Prado was two-for-three. He now has a .756 OPS to his credit.
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