The Miami Marlins Opening Day roster may surprise a few people.
With a club that won a total of only 57 games in 2019 (the second lowest in team history), the Marlins roster could be a volatile place for a while.
Last season, the Marlins employed a total of 50 players, 25 pitchers, 24 fielders, and Bryan Holaday. That was actually one less than the 51 who played for them in 2018.
Although 50 players may seem like a lot, the Marlins actually ranked tied for the lowest number in the National League East. The Philadelphia Phillies played 56, and the New York Mets had 53. Nevertheless, turnover can be high when a team is struggling.
One player who stands to benefit from being employed by a “rebuilding” franchise is right-handed swingman Josh Roeder. Turning 27-years-old today, Roeder joined the Marlins prior to the 2018 season after he was released by the New York Yankees. We previously profiled Roeder here.
A 21st-round pick for the Bronx Bombers in 2015, Roeder peaked with the Yanks with the high-A Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League in 2017. A big change in venue wasn’t in the cards for Roeder that season. He spent the entire year as part of the Jupiter Hammerheads in the same league. 6-6 with a 3.63 ERA and 60 K’s in 91 2/3 innings wasn’t very flashy, exactly, but Roeder’s 1.20 WHIP begged a further look.
2019 would prove a turning point in Roeder’s career. A four-year veteran of various levels of Class-A ball, Roeder jumped twice in the season, landing with the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. The bulk of his campaign was spent at the Double-A level with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Florida State League.
In 28 games in total across the top three levels of Miami’s minors, Roeder was 1-5 with a 3.36 ERA, 66 K’s (and only 28 walks) in 81 frames, and a 1.25 WHIP.
Still a part of the Triple-A roster, Roeder is now a part of the Wichita Wind Surge after the Baby Cakes pulled up stakes for the Great Plains. He stands to see an invitation to Spring Training, and the door is wide open. Look for Roeder to turn some heads and challenge for an Opening Day roster spot.
Other Marlins Birthdays
Outfielder Mark Kotsay (44) was Florida’s first round pick in 1996, and made his debut the very next season. In four years with the team, he slashed .280/.322/.411 in 468 contests, with 31 homers and 179 RBI.
Outfielder Eric Reed (39) was a ninth-round pick of Florida in 2002. A highly-touted prospect, Reed appeared in 60 games for the parent club in 2006 and 2007, going six-for-61.
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Catcher Tony Caldwell (31) joined Florida with the 24th round choice in 2011. He split three seasons in the system between the GCL Marlins and the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League.
Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Dustin Geiger (28) was a first baseman out of Merritt Island, Florida. He split 2017 between the Hammerheads and the Jumbo Shrimp, hitting .219/.300/.376 in 102 contests.
LHP Felix Ramos (26) played five seasons in the minors for the Marlins beginning in 2011. He was 6-8 with a 4.98 ERA over 61 appearances, with a 1.49 WHIP.
Jose Jaramillo (24) played two seasons with the DSL Marlins in the Dominican Summer League starting in 2013. He was 5-4 with a 2.44 ERA over 27 games with the rookie club.