After a spring that gives the Miami Marlins fans and the organization hope for an improved 2019 season, these three players must step up this year.
The Miami Marlins will have a different look this season. Not just the new colors of the organization and the changes to Marlins Park, but also the 25-man roster. The news of Dan Staily being released was a shock to everyone on Monday. Now, the team is even younger and the expectations of the starting rotation are that much higher.
How this all plays out this season really depends on which player step up in key situations. Which veterans are fit to lead. Which rookies or youngsters mature into “go-to” players on the mound, at the plate and on the diamond?
If the Marlins, 63-98, are going to take their next step in this rebirth of the franchise, these three players must be counted on to make it happen.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
Sandy Alcantara – The major news during the spring has been the development of the other three young arms on this Marlins staff. Now that Staily has been released, there is more added pressure as the flame thrower is now the team’s No. 2 starter.
How will Sandy Alcantara respond to being an every day starter?
After a 2-3 record last season and time on the disabled list, Alcantara still has to work on his control. There is no doubt that he could be the hardest throwing starter on the staff right now. But if he cannot control his pitches and find more consistency, the first part of the 2019 may be a bit rough. He remains a work in progress.
Everything is there for the youngster to become the ace of the staff. We shall see if he can put it all together for the Marlins this year.
Neil Walker – When the Marlins signed Neil Walker to a one year deal, it was one of the best low risk, high reward contracts the team could have put together this off-season.
I had hoped the team would sign him this offseason, if for just the presence he would have in the clubhouse.
Walker got in a full spring a preparation for 2019. It should pay off for him. The veteran utility player will begin the season at first base and provide leadership which may prove more valuable than his bat. That’s vital for these young players the Marlins have on their roster.
Like I said earlier in the off-season, the addition of Walker and Curtis Granderson could prove to be the two best signings the Marlins have all season.
Sergio Romo – I really thought the organization would look for two veteran relievers this off-season. They came away with one, with Sergio Romo joining the team right before the start of spring training.
It should prove to be a solid move this year.
Romo gives manager Don Mattingly options and how to use his bullpen. The veteran could be used as an opener (I hate this concept, by the way), a long reliever, or he could fill-in at the closer’s role.
Because there wasn’t a clear cut winner in the battle to become the teams ninth-inning specialist, with Drew Steckenrider filling the spot right now, Romo figures to be a huge part of what the team is trying to do with its bullpen this season.