Jordan Yamamoto makes his case for the Marlins 2020 rotation

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 23: Pitcher Jordan Yamamoto #50 has a drink of water during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 6-4. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 23: Pitcher Jordan Yamamoto #50 has a drink of water during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 6-4. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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With a 10-strikeout performance on Thursday night, Marlins starting pitcher Jordan Yamamoto made his case to be part of the 2020 rotation.

It’s fair to say the Miami Marlins coaching staff is going to have a difficult time determining which five starters make up the rotation in 2020.

Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith will battle to be the Opening Day starter, which young arm fills the final three slots could be as difficult as finding power hitters to give these pitchers a chance to win more games than they lose.
After watching Jordan Yamamoto the other night pitch what would be considered one of his best performances of the second half of the season, there shouldn’t be a reason to keep him out of the 2020 rotation, only to determine if he has the command to become a solid No. 3 in a cast of five.

As Bill Ladson of MLB.com wrote the other night, Yamamoto was out on the mound in his element, showing he could be a solid strikeout pitcher, but consistency must improve next season.

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"“Thursday night at Citi Field. He [Yamamoto] pitched six shutout innings and struck out a career-high 10 batters as the Marlins edged the Mets, 4-2, thanks to a go-ahead home run by Curtis Granderson,” Ladson explained.“This season has been inconsistent for Yamamoto, and it didn’t help that he missed a good portion of September because of a right forearm strain.”"

His showing was a sign of the future, the one he made when he took the ball and ran from Double-A Jacksonville to the Majors and reeled off four straight wins before suffering a defeat. With the team dealing pitchers at the trade deadline, the door has swung open for the 23-year-old to walk right in and pick up where he left off once Spring Training begins in February.

Not bad for a pitcher who told me he was happy the Marlins wanted him as part of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee since the Brewers sent him packing.

"“Yama was really good today [Thursday]. It shows what he can do,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He is a guy that has a number of pitches and is capable of mixing and matching — giving you different looks. Today, I think the key was throwing strikes with everything he had tonight. When he does that, he is really unpredictable as far as what you are going to get.”"

If the Marlins can settle on the first three pitchers in the rotation, then it may be an opportunity to move Pablo Lopez back to the fifth spot and the front office can look for another veteran to fill in the fourth place in a growing quintet.

Yamamoto showed that he has recovered from his arm injury to retie 17 of 19 batters at one point in the game.

Next. Marlins should grab Felix Hernandez in free agency. dark

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