Will the Miami Marlins return to playing baseball once again answer all the questions surrounding a shortened season for all teams in MLB?
With the possibility of a short season because of COVID-19 outbreak, the Miami Marlins and the other 29 MLB teams will adjust their rosters for what could be an exciting run toward the playoffs in 2020.
Does this mean manager Don Mattingly and the coaching staff toy with the idea of a shorter or longer rotation? And if it is a six-man dance, how does that affect both Jordan Yamamoto and Robert Dugger? Both appear to be fighting to remain in the rotation in the fifth and final spot.
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Prior to the start of last season, it was Mattingly who was faced with the potential of using six starters before the organization designated Dan Straily for assignment and sent Wei-Yin Chen to the bullpen. That seems like light years ago, but the moves the front office made shaped the rotation into part of what it has become today.
And the Miami Marlins are better for it.
There are other possibilities to consider as MLB’s front office works to devise a plan to get baseball underway without fans in the stands and to make the game the safest it can be for players and everyone associated with the sport.
Will rosters be expanded? Will managers have more leeway in determining rosters? Will the pitching staff be expanded? And how does using the designated hitter for all 30 teams affect how managers and front offices determine who remains on the current roster?
If anything, from a game standpoint, baseball might be the most exciting it has been in a few years.
"“Obviously, the questions of roster management come up at the end of camp,” manager Don Mattingly said via MLB.com. “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.”"
How does a shortened season affect the MLB Trade Deadline? Will there be one this season? Could this be a year where the Marlins find themselves in the middle of a possible playoff race and decide to add to their roster instead of selling off talent?
By the same token, if the team cannot show the progress that was expected by CEO Derek Jeter and team president of baseball operations Michael Hill, do they trade off veterans in return for more prospects to add to the minor league system?
There are too many variables that haven’t been answered yet. It’s not just here in Miami, but with every team – no matter if they have been a playoff contender or a basement dweller. Nothing else gets settled until players return to preparing from the season. And then, more questions will arise.
The best thing we Miami Marlins fans can do is still and wait this one out. Hopefully, the results will be better than what has been anticipated. But for now, the 2020 season continues to remain a blank canvas.