The excitement is back in Miami as the Marlins look to get near the .500 mark for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
Michael Hill, the Miami Marlins president of baseball operations, has a lot to be excited about this coming season. He has helped to orchestra major changes to this team’s roster with the hope that South Floridians will be pleased with the product he and the team’s front office has helped to put on the field in 2020.
Every time Hill speaks to the media, you can hear the pride of changing the organization around for the better, how the players on the rosters of the minor league teams and the Major League lineup should show improvement over a 57-win 2019 season.
And we aren’t just talking a few wins. There is a legitimate belief Miami has a baseball team that can creep toward 75-80 wins this season. We can all sit and wonder what will happen with the new faces in on the bench, on the field and in the bullpen. Finally, after two years of talking about rebuilding this baseball franchise, there is optimism to be had.
It’s really a wonderful thing.
"“This is a camp where there is as much talent as I’ve ever seen,” Hill told the media in Jupiter on Monday."
Those who were in attendance at Roger Dean Stadium also had a chance to hear from majority owner Bruce Sherman, who is just as excited about the potential of this team moving forward as Derek Jeter, who gets most of the credit for the changes made in Miami as its CEO and co-owner.
The Marlins were a poor offensive team in 2019 and their bullpen struggled most of the season as well. The starting rotation is still learning to pitch in the Majors. No changes were made to the starters in terms of adding depth. The bullpen was made over during the winter.
"“We’re going to put a championship-type quality team on the field that can do wonderful things,” Sherman said."
It’s a sentiment many of us who follow the team daily hopes to prove correct.
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Miami could start 2020 with as many as five new starters in the field and could see a new fifth starter in the rotation if one of the team’s top prospects surprises the coaching staff by the end of March. There is a lot to consider when Don Mattingly sets the roster, including an extra spot on the bench to be filled either as an every-day player or one more arm out of the pen.
There was no talk of what Hill thought was a realistic win total for the upcoming season, but he did say he believes this is a team with plenty to be excited about.
"“We don’t put limitations on our guys,” he said. “Talent plays. There’s a ton of talent in this camp. There are no limitations when you have that kind of talent of what the future may hold.”"
Mattingly echoed those sentiments.
"“We want a club that starts to exude confidence and show a little swagger and have a little push-back when we’re not playing well,” he said. “We have to have an expectation of where we’re going.”"