Now that the designated hitter will become a main part of the Miami Marlins vocabulary this season, how does it affect the team’s roster?
Or, someone like Matt Kemp will emerge as the “go-to” guy with the hot bat. Maybe Harold Ramirez will be asked to swing a consistent bat in the middle of the batting order. The point I am trying to make here is now that the National League will use the designated hitter on a nightly-basis, the Miami Marlins, and the other teams who have relied on pitchers to help their own cause now have another reason to score more runs.
It should if used properly, help the Marlins, one of the worst teams in baseball last season in runs scored, find a way to produce more at the plate. For that reason alone, fans in Miami should be happy.
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As MLB.com looks at the DH situation with each ballclub, the Marlins receive low marks for who is on the roster and can fill in this now-important role for the organization.
The Marlins are 13th out of 15 teams mentioned by the site’s writers.
"Per the story, “The DH might open up an everyday role for Cooper, who hit an above-average .281/.344/.446 with 15 homers in 107 games last year, his first with significant MLB playing time. Alternatively, Miami could install Cooper at first and Jesús Aguilar at DH, with outfielder Matt Joyce also grabbing more starts against right-handed pitching.”"
On the positive side, there is more flexibility for manager Don Mattingly in assembling a lineup. But he should focus more on consistency over the 60-game season. Does platooning at this position really make sense? The Marlins have as good a shot at making the playoffs as any other team in MLB.
Remember this is a sprint to the finish. The marathon has been eliminated.
The Marlins could look at their future in this spot as well. While there are plenty of veterans to fill the role – like Kemp – the front office could take a chance on one of their top prospects as well. Lewin Diaz, Monte Harrison, Jesus Sanchez, and Jazz Chisholm, four players who figure to be on the team’s 2021 roster could get an early call-up.
Diaz may be the most intriguing prospect since he can also play first base. He was acquired last season prior to the MLB Trade Deadline from the Minnesota Twins. And if the team feels it can win now and make some post-season noise, don’t rule out another free-agent addition. Yasiel Puig is still unsigned and should garner plenty of attention in the next few days.