The Miami Marlins got a look at 18 position players and six pitchers in their first Spring Training game of 2020.
The final score of 5-3 was inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. Also unimportant was the fact that the Miami Marlins were the winner for the day. The most important thing is the 24 players who got into the game and made some sort of impression on the coaching staff, and on us, Marlins Nation as it were.
In the first inning, Monte Harrison had a good game. With one out he hit a full-count single into right field, stole second and third base while Isan Diaz struck out, and scored on Garrett Cooper‘s two-out single. In the bottom of the inning, he committed an error after losing the ball in the sun, then came back with two putouts and nearly an assist on a big-power, no-precision throw to the plate.
Also of note was the performance of Magneuris Sierra, who made four plays in the outfield. Two were easy, and the other two he just made look easy. At the plate he was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Miami Marlins Standouts
Something the Miami Marlins were very much lacking through the 2019 campaign with an MLB-low 146 home runs. In our first look at major league baseball in five months, the Marlins gave us a few things to think about.
Harold Ramirez led off the second by lifting an 0-2 Chasen Shreve offering deep into left-center field. The shot cleared the fence by a good 35 feet. Unfortunately it only counted for one run and closed Miami to a 3-2 deficit. Ramirez hit 11 last season for the Marlins, ranking sixth on the team.
With two outs in the ninth inning and already leading the Mets 4-3, prospect Jerar Encarnacion took Mets reliever Ryder Ryan deep for a two-run cushion. The six-foot-four Bayaguana, DR native hit 16 last season in 135 games between Clinton and Jupiter.
There were other well-hit balls for the Marlins in the contest. 20-year-old Jose Devers and Lewis Brinson each also connected on solid long fly-balls, but the wind was blowing in at sufficient velocity to knock them down before clearing the park.
Jordan Yamamoto started and surrendered three runs, two earned, on three hits and an error. He struck out two in two innings of work.
Adam Conley came in to pitch two innings as well, and limited the Mets to a pair of hits and no walks, with two more strikeouts.
Miami’s bullpen followed Conley with five hitless innings between four pitchers. Robert Dugger pitched two perfect frames and struck one out. Yimi Garcia whiffed two in his inning of work, earning the victory and allowing no baserunners. Ryne Stanek walked a batter, but he was stranded at first as Stanek also struck out a batter. Stephen Tarpley earned an eight-pitch save by inducing a trio of groundouts to end the Mets (total lack of) threat.
Even including Conley, the Marlins bullpen pitched seven innings, walked one, struck out six, and allowed two hits. Last season, the Marlins bullpen was the weakest in major league baseball. The Marlins have improved both their power and their bullpen to a noticeable factor already, and they still have four weeks to iron it out further. Remember, there’s another 26 pitchers we’ve yet to see take the hill.
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In the sixth inning, Chisholm ran a long way to track down a fly ball, ending up in short-left-field and putting the clamps on a Matt Adams blooper. He then assisted on a well-hit Quinn Brodey grounder to end the frame with a 6-3 putout, with Lewin Diaz.
In the top of the eighth, Chisholm had another opportunity to impress with another plate appearance, and he did not disappoint. He singled to right field, took second on a Mesa ground ball out, stole third base, and scored the lead-taking and eventual game-winning run on a Lewin Diaz two-out single up the middle. He also helped close the door on the Mets, assisting on the game ending Manny Rodriguez groundout.
Let’s keep our eyes on the Miami Marlins tomorrow to see some of the other 41 players in camp take their cuts.