Can the Miami Marlins jump out of the dugout and win games as they did at the start of Spring Training? Here are three things that could help make that happen.
The formula for the Miami Marlins this season is fairly simple. They must score more runs hope the rotation can win more games and take advantage of chances whenever possible. This is a season manager Don Mattingly may have his greatest success in South Florida.
It also might be the toughest season given everything is in disarray because of the shortened season.
Once players get back to the ballpark and things become a bit more clear, there should be subtle changes each team makes for the run toward the end of the season. I think this could be the job Mattingly will get in a Miami Marlins uniform.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
If the Miami Marlins are to make things a bit more exciting this season, here are three things to watch that will help this team improve its win total from 2019.
How the Rotation is used
With fewer games, will Mattingly leave his starters in longer or call on the bullpen sooner? How will this effect the final two spots in the rotation.
Now that the rotation is a year older and Sandy Alcantara has moved to the front of the rotation along with Caleb Smith, how many innings will they log? Does Jose Urena’s presence mean the Marlins will use him much the same way they used Dan Straily two seasons ago?
The time away from the game means these arms must warm up again. No matter how much time the players have spent practicing and throwing away from the field, the simulation is not the same to the real interaction on the mound.
The Addition of Francisco Cervelli
I liked the addition of Francisco Cervelli from the moment I read the Marlins signed him to a free-agent deal. His addition to the roster does a few things.
First, he’s a veteran who will provide solid back up behind Jorge Alfaro. He will also work with Alfaro to make him a better backstop. The two seem to bond well once camp opened back in February.
The other thing is Cervelli will serve as another veteran on a team that needs leadership, especially with how the roster will be shaped with the change in divisional alignment. Having players Mattingly can depend on to help newcomers adjust could be just as important as how Cervelli plays once called into a game.
The Marlins aren’t likely to keep three catchers this season. It’s vital that both Cervelli and Alfaro help this pitching staff take another step forward. The starting five could surprise fans this season.
The use of the DH
I’ve talked about this a little bit in the past couple weeks, but I think it’s going to help the Marlins more than most teams this season.
If divisional alignment calls for every team to use a designated hitter, it means the Marlins will have one more bat in the lineup. For a team they only had 146 homeruns last year and was one of the worst teams in runs scored, it provides more opportunities at the plate. It also means pitchers are resting in between innings.
For someone like Garrett Cooper, or Matt Kemp or even Harold Ramirez this is a big thing. Mattingly also will have choices to make and more options in terms of positional match ups in his lineup. It will be interesting to see if Mattingly uses some of the same strategies he was part of when he played for the New York Yankees.