The Marlins look to prove they are an improved ballclub for the 2020 MLB season.
If you have been reading anything on social media. you know the Miami Marlins look different this year as pitchers and catchers reported to the team’s training facility in Jupiter, Florida.
Jorge Alfaro looks to be in better shape. Pablo Lopez has been doing some work off the mound. Veteran Matt Kemp, who was invited to camp as a non-roster player, has gotten some time at first base. All of these improvements should pay off for the fledgling franchise as players inch closer to the start of the regular season.
The Marlins mantra for this season, especially as this is Year 3 of the rebuild Derek Jeter and his staff have built the organization around, is to improve more than last season. With only 57 wins last season, anything short of improvement would amount to a huge disappointment.
"“We’re looking at it like it’s time to start moving forward,” Manager Don Mattingly added via MLB.com. “A lot of guys we think are going to be part of the future are moving to that Triple-A range and have been through Double-A. Knowing that they’re right there, obviously, hitting the roster this year with some guys, and more guys to come.”"
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If these Miami Marlins are to improve, they must hit better, hold leads late in the game and rely on multiple players to come up big at the right time. If that does not happen, Mattingly’s job could be in jeopardy this season. The Marlins took a big step forward this off-season by adding to the organization instead of subtracting.
The front office was aggressive this winter, adding bats and power to the middle of the lineup, and brought in veteran arms to help the bullpen. Jeter and his staff took their time to find what they believe to be the right puzzle pieces to fit for the upcoming season.
If Miami’s going to take this “leap of faith“ and prove to the Marlins fans that the time is now to show progress, then there are the players who will help establish that tone. There is plenty to be excited about as players get ready for the Grapefruit League and hopefully put other teams on notice that this ball club in South Florida won’t be the worst in the National League the season.
Here are three major storylines to follow in spring training this year.