Despite the success the Miami Marlins enjoyed in the spring, this continues to be a team that must work through growing pains during the 2019 season.
Go ahead and admit it. Just like the thousands of Miami Marlins of fans across the baseball landscape, you too were a bit worried about the 2019 season when the team dropped the first two games of the 2019 season.
You, along with myself, believed this is just a continuation of what happened last season and how the Summer months would be hotter and the need for winning baseball would be agony.
A 7-3 win on Saturday, coupled with 16 hits and a solid outing by Pablo Lopez changed that, at least for the moment. Now, the Marlins can attempt to put back-to-back wins together, to break even with the Colorado Rockies and give the fans something to talk about that is positive.
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Just remember, this is a team still working through growing pains. It will take a while for all of this to gel. Spring Training is not a true barometer of the franchise’s success for the coming year.
It’s more of a sign of what can happen in the future. No matter how bright we might think that is, manager Don Mattingly and his staff still have a lot of work to do.
So does this 25-man roster. The first step toward a meaningful season begins today when Sandy Alcantara takes the mound. If the 23-year-old can continue the streak of solid outings from this young rotation, then Marlins fans may be able to stop gripping so much.
Not matter what cliche I throw out there, baseball is not decided in the first week of the season. A battle cry for 160-2 is not reasonable. There will be losses, many of them. There will be heartbreak – plenty of it. And for the millionth time, fans in South Florida will need to be patient, waiting for success to happen.
But a winning season, in my opinion, is coming sooner rather than later.
Derek Jeter is building it. The wins are on the way.
The Marlins are not going to be a team that wins a game with one swing of the bat. They will rely on pitching, moving baserunners around the diamond and solid defense. There is plenty to like about 16 hits from Saturday night, but don’t expect it to be a habit.
What we should hope for is a young rotation coming together at the right time, stringing together solid starts and a bullpen that picks the starters up, not lets them down.
If Mattingly can figure out how to get the most out of his starting five and get Miami to get key hits late in games, this team will be entertaining. The win total may not stretch past 70 games, but that’s to be expected.
This Marlins team is still in its infancy. We all have a chance to watch it grow into something special. But once again, it’s going to take time.