The Marlins made several moves to improve their team this season. Were they enough to make a dent in the National League East?
The Miami Marlins are back in the baseball business, having opened the 2020 Grapefruit League season on Saturday against the New York Mets.
"As my Marlin Maniac colleague, Kevin Kraczkowski wrote, “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.”"
It’s a joyous time to be a Marlins fan as the team appears to be headed on the right track toward relevancy this coming season. It might not be about champagne celebrations and key ninth-inning strikeouts in October, but the baseball scene in Miami is better than it has been even when top stars of MLB were swinging for the fences at Marlins Park.
This is more about team effort than individual success. The only thing that I wonder and decide to let my fingers do the talking is was the work the front office did this winter enough to put more fans in seats and close the gap from fifth place in the National League East to fourth in the standings?
We all hold our collective breaths on that question.
Also, did the players the Marlins acquire give this team the best chance to win night after night? I’m asking for a specific reason, namely the fact the Felix Hernandez looked like a new pitcher on the mound for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. I’m not trying to play devil’s advocate with the decisions Derek Jeter and the front office made, but there are going to be some moves that weren’t made fans and the local and national media will have an opinion on.
Hernandez is the one I am going to question if he proves to be a steady force for the Marlins National League East rival.
"“Overall, it was a solid first start for Felix Hernandez,” writes Jake Mastroianni over at Tomahawk Take. “But we’re going to need to see him string together three or four solid starts before we consider moving someone off the 40-man roster for him.”"
I beleive Hernandez will rise again, showing he can still be effective in the rotation and hurting the Marlins in the process. Not becuase of what he could do to help a young rotation here in Miami, but by helping the young arms in Atlanta do the same.
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We could sit here for hours while i reel off paragraphs, questioning the moves the Marlins did and didn’t make. Why Yasiel Puig is not in a Miami uniform or why wasn’t a veteran starter even a glacing thought? The roster is better than last season, if not solid. But if the theory is to make the jump from Year 2 to Year 3 in this rebuilding process and the Marlins in fact spent more money than in year’s past, then why not jump all in when stepping into free agency and Hot Stove?
I suspect we will write plenty of pieces like this during the season, questioning moves that have been made or the ones not ventured. It’s the nature of baseball. Miami is a team on the rise, even if it’s just to 70 wins this season. That’s what’s exciting about this coming season. What I do worry about is whether the front office could have made more decisions to further better this team.
If that is the case, then I will be writing about other topics that won’t be as joyous. For now, it’s more of a wait and see approach. It’s also about hoping players the Marlins could have signed aren’t the ones breaking this team’s heart toward the end of the 2020 season.