The Miami Marlins have done a good job of making moves to bring in versatile veterans who can play multiple positions this season.
Versatility, Versatility, Versatility. Those three words are as important to the Miami Marlins as the words location, location, location keys to any good real estate agent. In the continuing progression of the Marlins, how functional players are at key positions will help shape how the 26-man roster is filled in 2020.
Some spots are a given, with core players Brian Anderson, Miguel Rojas, Isan Diaz and Jorge Alfaro leading the way. Now, with changes to the roster limits, adding one more player to the bench is vital to the stability of this franchise.
Frankly, it could mean an extra bat when needed. The Marlins can keep only up to 13 pitchers, so at least five bench players are a given. Skipper Don Mattingly has worked with 13 pitchers and 12 players in the field for the past two seasons. We aren’t sure if that means he will change some of his strategy for the coming season.
Also, with new faces assuming bigger roles in the clubhouse, there should be harder decisions to make about who stays with the parent team and who takes a trip to the minors, is traded or released before the start of Opening Day.
It’s an exciting time in Miami, that’s for sure.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
"“We have a number of guys who can play all over,” Mattingly said at Fanfest on Saturday. “You look at Jonathan Villar, and Anderson is capable of playing infield/outfield. Berti is capable of playing infield/outfield.“Miggy plays all over the field. Garrett Cooper plays [infield] and [outfield]. So we do have a number of guys [who play multiple positions]. But you do want your best defensive club, as much as possible.”"
These are good problems to have, which was not the case just a couple of seasons ago. Mattingly has preached that he wants players who can fill different roles while giving the team the maximum chance to score runs when needed. Moving players around the bases have been an issue in the last two years.
"“All offseason, the Marlins searched for fits to help upgrade a lineup that ranked last in the Majors in homers (146) and second to last in runs (615) in 2019,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes. That also includes a collective .241 average at the plate last season, which didn’t do the team any favors."
The Marlins made a concerted effort to bring in veteran bats that could help the middle of the order. They signed, traded and have brought in outfielders who could make a difference once Spring Training begins this week. Everything that happens from now on is because of continuity and moving the right chess pieces.
"“We felt all the pieces that we brought in fit with what we were trying to do and make us a better club for 2020,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “And you mix that with our younger players, our prospects that are reaching the upper levels, and that’s why I’m so excited with where we’re going.”"