There are only eight days until the Marlins Major League roster expands.
With the Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball seasons almost over, what will the Miami Marlins do when it comes time to expand their roster in a week? Which players – who aren’t injured – have given the front office enough promise on their resume to warrant a move to the parent ball club?
The Marlins made the biggest move in their minor league system earlier this month by bringing the second baseman Isan Diaz up from Triple-A New Orleans. The rookie has played in 18 games so far and is learning in a trial-by-fire situation, taking over at second base while the team has moved veteran Starlin Castro over to the third bag.
There are mixed reviews so far of Diaz, who is struggling at the plate and defensively, but as manager Don Mattingly said the other night, he believes his neophyte will be just fine in the future. Let’s also remember 2018 rookie Brian Anderson slumped mightily in the second half of last year’s season and came back this year to hit 20 home runs and 66 RBI before suffering a broken hand on Friday night.
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The decisions the Marlins front office must make center around pitching more than hitting. Which young arms will move onto the staff? What happens to starters Pablo Lopez and Jose Urena when they return from injury? Will a move to the bullpen prove successful for Urena, who was the team’s Opening Day starter in March of this year?
"“One encouraging sign, even with the big-league team having lost 15 of its past 19 games: All of their top pitching prospects (except Braxton Garrett – who’s been up and down the past three weeks – and injured Edward Cabrera) have had some very, very good moments recently, with a couple of them sustaining success for a few weeks,” wrote Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald ahead of the team’s 19-11 win over the Philadelphia Phillies."
The Marlins are now 5-15 in their last 20 contests. Hopefully, the big lumber from last night will continue over Players Weekend in South Florida. There are other arms to consider now that the Marlins have a plan for the bullpen as Urena will get a chance to close games for the team instead of starting them. Miami may want to get Lopez back in the rotation before the Sept. 1 callups to give him at least one start before major changes to the roster.
Sixto Sanchez may not pitch the remainder of the season for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He was treated for dehydration in his last outing. The team’s top prospect has progressed nicely for the Marlins and figures to get a shot at Triple-A next season. The top pitching prospect last season in the organization, Nick Neidert, continues his progression after dealing with a knee injury this season.
Cabrera is injured and Jorge Guzman has been a workhorse in Jacksonville of late. He could get a call to join the team for the remainder of the season.
There are others the front office is keeping a close eye on.
"“Meanwhile, Trevor Rogers pitched seven shutout innings (two hits, 10 strikeouts) in his third Double A start. He gave up six runs in 4 ⅓ innings of his fourth start Thursday, but [Michael]Hill said poor defense was largely to blame,” Jackson added."