Miami Marlins: Where does this team rank prior to Opening Day?

DETROIT, MI - MAY 21: Manager Don Mattingly #8 (C) of the Miami Marlins talks with hitting coach Jeff Livesey #25 during the fifth inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 21, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MAY 21: Manager Don Mattingly #8 (C) of the Miami Marlins talks with hitting coach Jeff Livesey #25 during the fifth inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 21, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Although the MLB season has not started, the Miami Marlins are near the bottom of the newest ESPN.com baseball rankings.

David Schoenfeld of ESPN.com asked a great question when it comes to the Miami Marlins and the 2020 season.

"“Does a shorter season make it more likely the Marlins just play the vets or more likely they give more opportunities to players like Isan Diaz, Lewis Brinson and Harold Ramirez,” he asks in the most recent story about team rankings last month."

As the Marlins wait for the work they can all get back to work, the small-budget team from South Florida is currently 27th out of 30 MLB teams according to the four-letter network. They are still considered the worst team in the National League, but ahead of three teams from the American League.

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As Schoenfeld writes, the Marlins did make some changes to their roster for the upcomking season. Also, the team jumped out to a 12-6-2 record in the Grapefruit League – which could be a sign of things to come. But because of the work stoppage and long layoff, how will manager Don Mattingly role the dice on this team when baseball does resume?

"“The Marlins had added veterans Jonathan Villar, Jesus Aguilar, Corey Dickerson and Matt Joyce to provide competition and depth after last year’s team struggled to score runs,” he added. “It wasn’t exactly clear how things were going to shake out as far as playing.”"

What may be clear is the team does look like it will hit the ball better in 2020 – which is a good thing considering a team batting average of .241 last season. the Miami Marlins also hit just 146 hoem runs last year, which was easily last in the entire league.

Villar, Dickerson and Joyce all figure to be in the outfield on Opening Day. There are still a few roster spots open with a battle at first base betwen Aguilar and Garrett Cooper. The coaching staff must also make a decision on who will provide bench depth and what happens with the team’s bullpen.

Per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com, the season may start in May as MLB is working on a plan where all 30 teams will play in Arizona.

"“The plan, sources said, would dictate that all 30 teams play games at stadiums with no fans in the Phoenix area, including the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field, 10 spring training facilities and perhaps other nearby fields,” Passan writes."

Next. Miami Marlins: 3 Predictions for Garrett Cooper. dark

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