What will happen with the Marlins starting rotation for the 2020 MLB season and beyond?
The one thing you hear about more than anything regarding these Miami Marlins is the potential of the starting pitchers and the depth of the minor league system. There are plenty of arms to call on is need be, but how good they become this season will directly impact the future of this organization.
Note to Derek Jeter, Michael Hill, and Don Mattingly – choose wisely when it comes to your first, second and third man up from the minors. They could either be part of your future or trade chips to bring in better hitters in the next two seasons.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald nailed it when he talked of the possible pitchers who could impact this season – those on the staff already and the prospects itching to get their chance at stepping on the rubber at Marlins Park.
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"“Here’s the most important issue that should become much clearer by the end of this Marlins season and then fully clear in 18 months: Do they have the type of dominant starting pitching they believe they have, which is a necessity to have any chance to compete long-term with the high-talent, high-payroll teams that reside in National League East?” he wrote."
We know Sandy Alcantara has a chance to be a Pedro Martinez-type starter. Caleb Smith is a strikeout-dominant arm. Pablo Lopez must avoid injuries and Jordan Yamamoto must find more consistency. After that, it’s really a crapshoot as to who falls next in line.
It’s a good problem to have in South Florida. I cannot remember a time when the organization was this deep with talent. Other Major League teams would love to face this kind of dilemma for the 2020 season and beyond.
And there is still veteran help if needed. Jackson adds that Jose Urena could go back to the rotation if needed. He is going to get every opportunity to prove he can be an effective reliever and a veteran leader of the staff.
What the Marlins do with their young arms will remain a mystery until something happens, either at the MLB Trade Deadline or after this season. If the team is more competitive this year – please make me look like I know what I am talking about – then Jeter can send arms to other teams for power hitters and possibly a more consistent closer for the future.
It is something this franchise could not do two seasons ago. It’s now a huge luxury and a blessing based on what Jeter has done to create the environment of a new culture of the Marlins.
"“There will be at least eight high-end starting pitching prospects in big-league camp with no big-league experience,” Jackson writes."
No matter how the staff shakes down, with new veterans added to the bullpen this offseason, the Marlins figure to be better as a whole. That was the goal for this offseason both at the plate and on the mound. Now, it’s up to the coaching staff to make it all work.