How good will the Miami Marlins starting rotation be in 2020? Hopefully better than last season?
The foundation for the Miami Marlins starting rotation was first poured when team owner and CEO Derek Jeter made a small yet meaningful trade with the New York Yankees to bring Caleb Smith to South Florida. He then made a deal with the Cardinals to bring in Sandy Alcantara at the expense of Marcell Ozuna.
If the Marlins win more than 70 games this season and the rotation proves it can be one of the best in baseball, then the moves Jeter made that were frowned upon just two seasons ago will prove to be genius moves.
And with the start of the 2020 season less than two months away and Spring Training right on the horizon, it’s a sure bet this rotation will be one of the most talked-about in MLB this year.
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"“How quickly the Marlins shed the label of a rebuilding franchise to one that is seriously contending largely rests on shoulders of a young and promising rotation. Early in 2019, Miami’s rotation showed reason for optimism,” writes Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.“In the first half, the Marlins’ rotation pitched to a 3.92 ERA, good for seventh-best in the Majors. In the second half, there was some wear and tear and injuries, and the ERA ballooned to 5.42, 24th in the Majors.”"
Zolecki talked about all five starting rotations in his latest piece for MLB.com. The Nationals are at the top of his list for the National League East. After that, the Marlins have a good a chance as any to help the team move forward.
"“Even though there aren’t any real household names, Sandy Alcantara was an All-Star a year ago, logging 197 1/3 innings while making 32 starts,” Zolecki adds. “Alcantara is the front-runner to be the Opening Day starter. Lefty Caleb Smith was the lone pitcher on the staff to reach double digits in wins (10-11, 4.52 ERA), and he struck out 168 in 153 1/3 innings. Pablo López, Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez, and Robert Dugger are candidates to round out the rotation.”"
The best thing about the Marlins future might be its pitching depth, which rivals any in the Majors. The front office made a point to concentrate on bringing in new arms for depth and to lead this team over the course of the next few seasons.
"“And Miami fans are especially excited that the Marlins’ top two pitching prospects, Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera, could make their debuts in the first half. Nick Neidert is another prospect who is close to being ready,” Zolecki writes."