Even with the announcement of the stoppage of Spring Training baseball and the delay of the start of the MLB season, the Marlins have plenty of work to do.
It’s hard to look at the events of the past 24 hours and put any kind of positive spin what is happening in our world and the world of sports, but the Miami Marlins have an opportunity to get things in order for the eventual start of the MLB season.
No, I am not making light of the situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic. As John Wilkinson of FanSided.com wrote on Thursday, “Major League Baseball has joined the NBA, NHL, and MLS in halting play due to the coronavirus. MLB has suspended spring training and will delay Opening Day.”
For the Marlins organization, this affects their minor league system from Clinton, Iowa to Jupiter, Florida and Jacksonville, Florida to Wichita and their new Triple-A facility in Kansas.
It’s a tough time for everyone and the sports world is just as impacted. Now, the focus is on waiting out the storm and being prepared for what comes next.
“All spring training games will be canceled as of Thursday evening and MLB Opening Day, originally scheduled for March 26, will be pushed back at least two weeks,” Wilkinson added.
For the Marlins, the start of Spring Training and the Grapefruit League looked to be the beginning of something special for the folks in South Florida. Young prospects were showcasing their abilities, a sign of the future and the veterans the team added over the course of the offseason, were doing their best to ensure the 2020 baseball season would not be a repeat of the past 10 years – the last time the Marlins had a winning record.
“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans,” the league said in its announcement via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
“MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”
So what happens now? As we await the news that pitchers can take the mound again and the Marlins front office and coaching staff can once again see the fruits of their labor on a baseball diamond, Miami’s organization which starts with Derek Jeter, Michael Hill, and Don Mattingly can still plan for the future and make the right moves to ensure the roster is better than it was only a year ago at this time.
While other teams in the National League East have the opportunity to rest players and make sure their lineups are healthy from the start, so too can the Marlins move their puzzle pieces around that could affect the franchise in a positive way.
For everything that has been good about the Marlins start so far – a 12-6 record – the need to concentrate on making sure everyone in baseball and around the world is safe from this medical emergency. That is what is foremost on the minds of everyone involved. But as time has a way of creeping by at a slow pace, the need to concentrate on the game, even to some degree, is still needed.
Hopefully this time off is over in the time period predicted and we can get back to baseball. In the meantime, the Marlins front office still has some work to do.