Miami Marlins: 3 Storylines to follow at Spring Training

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 05: Brian Anderson #15 of the Miami Marlins is congratulated by third base coach Fredi Gonzalez #33 following a grand slam home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning at Miller Park on June 05, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 05: Brian Anderson #15 of the Miami Marlins is congratulated by third base coach Fredi Gonzalez #33 following a grand slam home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the third inning at Miller Park on June 05, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 28: Jesus Aguilar #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays runs to first base after hitting a pop fly during the sixth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 28: Jesus Aguilar #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays runs to first base after hitting a pop fly during the sixth inning of their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Who’s on First?

I asked this question not because I want to start a comedy routine, but it is a genuine concern for the Marlins after what can only be described as a hot potato position last season.

Multiple players occupied the bag last year which caused headaches for Mattingly and the front office. Miami made sure to bring in reinforcements this year in the way of Jesus Aguilar, who came over on waivers from Tampa Bay. The team also signed Matt Kemp as a non-roster invitee to training camp. The veteran was taking grounders at first base on the first day that pitchers and catchers reported.

Kemp needs to make the team out of camp and could be a reliable veteran off the bench. Should he find his power stroke again, 25 home runs could be possible.

Garrett Cooper is another name to watch as he spent time in the infield last year. He was injured quite a bit in 2019, which is a concern for this organization. He appeared in only 105 games. If he can remain healthy this season, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t approach 25 to 30 home runs. Cooper smacked 15 of them last year.

Another alternative could be Lewin Diaz, a minor-league talent who was brought over from the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline last year. He showed power at the plate in two different organizations and could be ready for a big-league push by the middle of the season.

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