Miami Marlins Spring Training Battles 2020: Rotation Back Half

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MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 13: Jordan Yamamoto #50 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on August 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 13: Jordan Yamamoto #50 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park on August 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 28: Pitcher Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers will report to the team facility in Jupiter for Spring Training on Wednesday. As camp begins, there are a number of positions up in the air, including in the starting rotation.

The Marlins top-three starters should be fairly set for 2020. Lefty Caleb Smith looked like the Marlins’ ace at times last season and is the odds-on favorite to start on Opening Day versus the Philadelphia Phillies on March 26th.

Smith went 10-11 last season and posted a 4.52 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 168 strikeouts over 153.1 innings pitched. Smith was dominant to start 2019, going 3-0 with 56 strikeouts and a 2.11 ERA over his first 42 2/3 innings pitched. That lasted through mid-May, then he regressed some. If not for a June injury, Smith might have been the Marlins’ All-Star representative. He struggled in September, but is looking for a bounce-back to start 2020. Will Caleb Smith be the Ace We Deserve?

Sandy Alcantara will also be a fixture in the front end of the rotation for the Miami Marlins in 2020. The 2019 All-Star for the club, Alcantara went 6-14 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 151 strikeouts over 197 1/3 innings pitched. He wasn’t great post-All-Star, going 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA in July, but Alcantara finished the season with a strong September (2-2; 2.59 ERA).

The No. 3 starter should be Pablo Lopez. He finished 2019 with a 5-8 record. Lopez posted a 5.09 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 95 strikeouts over 111 1/3 innings pitched. But his major issue last season was a right shoulder injury that put him out of the rotation from mid-June to late-August. Lopez struggled when he made it back to the bigs in August, going 0-3 with a 7.01 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He’ll need to rediscover his pre-injury form to solidify his spot in the rotation.

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