Miami Marlins: Don Mattingly waits along with his team to play ball

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 27: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins looks on from the dug out during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 27, 2019 in Washington. DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 27: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins looks on from the dug out during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 27, 2019 in Washington. DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly talks about the team’s roster and how the wait to play baseball again may affect the team’s roster.

It’s still the same story for the Miami Marlins and manager Don Mattingly.
The waiting is the hardest part.

While Mattingly and the Marlins coaching staff still remain in contact with players and the front office, the desire to get back on the playing field grows stronger with each passing day. And with MLB still working on a plan to start the 2020 season in both Arizona and Florida sans fans in the stands, this figures to be one of the oddest seasons in memory.

Safety of the franchises, players, and fans is the biggest concern as the figureheads try to get baseball up and running. For those of us who cover the Miami Marlins and the other 29 teams, the topic of baseball still offers us plenty to write about. As a fan, I miss this game and understand how it has been a big part of my life for the past 40-plus years.

More from Marlins News

Everything was going smoothly for the Miami Marlins. The team looked like it had turned a corner. Top prospects showed they could handle MLB pitching. There was a bit of excitement at the team’s training facility in Jupiter, Florida. Most of all, players were having fun during the first month of Spring Training Baseball.

And then disaster struck. The COVID-19 scare put an end to all spring sports and put baseball on hold. Now, there is plenty of questionsMattingly and the front office must answer in deciding how this team will march into the 2020 season when indeed baseball is played once again.

The formula that appeared to be working in February and March may be tweaked a bit. Veterans may factor into planning more with the possibility of a shorter season is a real possibility. And players who may have gotten their big break this year might have to wait a little longer their chance at stardom.

"“Even though there were still some decisions to be made, I think we have a pretty good feel for our club,” Mattingly said as he appeared on Sev & Geff Live, which aired at noon ET via social medium platforms on Monday.“We were probably down to the last three or four guys. That 26-man really gives you a different perspective on how you set up your roster.”"

And with the notion the Marlins will face different teams based on location, with some American League teams part of the realignment, there are other changes to the game to consider. Will all teams play with a designated hitter? how do pitching staffs set up for the season? Will these changes lead to permanent changes by the league office in the future?

The sudden end to training also means the Marlins players will need more time to work back into game day shape. That may take as much as a month. There has been some talk of play resuming as soon as May if MLB can work on coordinating with all 30 teams on locations and the intangibles of making this happen.

"“Obviously, the questions of roster management come up at the end of camp,” Mattingly said. “If you take this guy, you have a chance you’re going to lose another guy on your roster somewhere in there. And our roster is getting tough to manage.”"

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