The Miami Marlins must decide if they want to use a veteran hitter to fill the role of designated hitter or will they look to a young bat in the lineup?
The Miami Marlins will have plenty of options at their disposal if the designated hitter does become a universal position for the 2020 season. While a 30-man roster and expanded 20-man taxi squad will give manager Don Mattingly plenty of opportunities to plot his strategy against teams the ballclub wouldn’t normally face, wouldn’t it be a bit easier to settle in one player and make changes as the shortened season moves along?
The Marlins weren’t the best hitting team in the Majors last season, with a combined .241 batting average. Finding someone who could hit for average and swing for the fences with more consistency would be ideal but might not always be possible.
These are the Miami Marlins, after all.
Do the coaching staff and the front office determine to use younger bats and look to the future, having a chance to see who could slide into open roster spots next season, or will Mattingly look to add a veteran to the lineup to provide consistency? Sean Sears of FanSided.com has his own thoughts on who should fill this role.
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"“The Marlins are another team that doesn’t expect to improve much on their 2019 season and doesn’t have a clear power bat for the DH spot. However, veteran Matt Kemp did sign a minor league contract with the club back in December at age 35,” he writes.“Kemp was an All-Star in 2018 with the Dodgers and hit 21 and 19 home runs with the Dodgers and Braves prior to his poor showing with the Reds last season.”"
A new home and another chance to make an impression might be what Kemp needs to keep his career going. The idea of just standing in the batter’s box may help keep him fresh and healthy as well. And with younger players around him who still may need time to develop this season, it might be worth the shot.
Kemp should be guaranteed a roster spot now that the rosters will be expanded. He was in a battle with as many as five other outfielders to win one roster spot. And should the team has been forced to use just 26 players instead of 30, Kemp may have been on the outside looking in.
Sears does offer another idea, should the Miami Marlins want to look at younger talent to step and fill the designated hitter role.
"“But if Kemp ends up not making the Marlins roster, shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm could make sense as a designated hitter, especially since his defense has been a concern throughout his development in the minors,” he adds.“But Chisholm has plenty of power potential mashing 28 and then 21 home runs in 2018 and 2019, adding him to a Marlins lineup that is devoid of power makes plenty of sense.”"