Will a shift in culture in the clubhouse and on the field lead to a change in the victory total of the Miami Marlins in 2020?
The Miami Marlins are in the midst of sweeping changes to their organization – in a good way.
After two straight wins and the emergence of both shortstop Jazz Chisholm and Monte Harrison, the fourth and fifth-rated prospects in the team’s minor league system, you could make the argument that once again youth is served in South Florida.
As both Chisholm, who was part of a trade deadline deal with Arizona last season, and Harrison who was part of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, prepare for the unknown this Spring, they are making an impression off the bat in Jupiter.
And it’s coming at the right time when the impact is everything in fighting for the last roster spots in South Florida.
Changing the Marlins roster and organization from top to bottom is one thing, but changing the actual culture of how this organization runs from top to bottom is another.
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That’s why Derek Jeter, Michael Hill and the rest of Miami’s front office has worked hard to show this is a different franchise than the one that was previously owned by Jeffrey Loria and run by David Samson.
Those changes may be what sets this year’s team apart from the previous two seasons. Learning to play baseball as a team and then win as a baseball team has been something that manager Don Mattingly has worked on in 2018 and 2019. Given the additions to the team’s roster on the major-league level and throughout the team’s feeder system, it’s beginning to show by leaps and bounds.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explains how these two teammates and best friends are setting the tone for the team and the start of Spring ball in South Florida.
"“Jazz actually came up to me today and was like, ‘You fire me up. I want to steal bags. I want to do everything,'” Harrison said. “I was like, ‘That’s what you have teammates for. That’s why you have people around you, to push you.’ I’m not going to say we’re going to lead that group. But that’s how I lead, it’s by example.”"
Maybe that’s the secret elixir of this organization that has helped Miami jump out to a 2-0 start in the Grapefruit League. And hopefully, this is the start of a transition that leads to a record somewhere near .500, if not this year then certainly next.
Change and improvement are what these Marlins must show more than anything. And should the Opening Day roster prove to be just as enthusiastic, then it could be said two young men who have everything to gain, started a trend that hasn’t been broken just yet.
"“Dudes are ready to play the game,” Harrison said. “They’re trying to win a job. They’re trying to do everything they can do to be seen. It’s showing, early.”"