Before the Miami Marlins can start the 2020 season, the front office and coaching staff must answers these three questions.
Have I told you lately how much I miss watching Miami Marlins baseball? I know the world around us is concentrating on many other things than a ball made up of 108 stitches, but there is a void not being able to watch the boys of spring and summer play on local diamonds.
It’s eery and sobering all in one package. The Miami Marlins front office and players are like other sports teams in this era of our country – waiting and hoping for the best.
The time away, where sportswriters like myself are trying to keep our creative juices flowing by using different angles and themes to come up with innovation, has given me a chance to look at the Marlins as a team of mystery. Which roster will appear after the dust clears and the pop of ball hits the catchers’ mitt like a beautiful song?
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I’m almost teary-eyed over it.
The Miami Marlins still have plenty of work to do once they hit the field. We have discussed it in many forms. Even with the solid start the team had coming out of Spring Training, there is no guarantee the team Don Mattingly fields would perform at such a fast rate. If the 26 men that make the roster are to do that, these questions must be answered.
Who’s on first?
I’m still not sold on the idea of Jesus Aguilar winning the first base job outright. For some reason I think Garrett Cooper is still in the mix. Right now he is listed as the back up at the position on the depth chart.
When Mattingly stated earlier this off-season that Cooper was not an everyday player because it was injury history, that might have a little fire under the former New York Yankees farmhand. I expect her to be a close battle once play resumes.
Cooper won the starting right field job on opening day the last two seasons. He’s also had a career that has been marred by injuries. If he can stay healthy and comes back to camp swinging a bat with consistent power, I believe the first base job is his.
Is Second Base Set?
The Marlins appear to be set to ride the season out with Isan Diaz covering ground at second base. But what if the youngster cannot produce like the coaching staff would like him to? Failure at this position could throw the entire infield off-kilter.
Is there a trade?
As I’ve said before, I’d really don’t think the Marlins are done dealing. Whether this means they will trade a veteran or two to help ease the roster or sign a veteran because there isn’t as much offense as a team would like, Derek Jeter has plenty of options at his disposal.
Harold Ramirez, Cooper, or even someone like Matt Kemp could be the subject of trade top. The team could also finally sign Yasiel Puig to play in right field or to fill their first base dilemma. The Marlins, if they are serious about moving out of the National League East basement, need to produce more home runs, period.
Also, don’t be surprised if the team finally pulls the trigger on a deal that sends a top minor-league prospect somewhere else for hitting depth.