With an expanded roster and plenty of prospects at their disposal, who will help fill the designated hitter role for the Miami Marlins?
While I am not in favor of the Miami Marlins or any other National League team using the designated hitter this season as part of the new rules established by MLB and the MLBPA, I do think it could make for an interesting situation with this organization.
I also think players in camp who were on the outside looking in or fighting for an everyday spot in the lineup are breathing a little better now that one more spot in the batting order has been created.
If anything, the discussion of who may fill the team’s role as the designated hitter gives writers like me another topic to talk about.
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It’s something the Miami Marlins coaching staff now needs to prepare for and as explained by MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, there are plenty of options to choose from.
"“The DH creates an opportunity for a position player who hasn’t secured a defensive spot to play regularly. The two players who will likely be most impacted by this are the left-handed-hitting Matt Joyce and the right-handed-hitting Garrett Cooper,” Frisaro writes.“Before MLB halted Spring Training in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, manager Don Mattingly was on record saying that Joyce projected to start in the outfield about three or four times a week. Right field is the likely spot, since Corey Dickerson projects in left field, with Jonathan Villar in center.”"
The platoon system should still be in play in Miami, but now more veterans will make this roster based on their versatility. The ninth spot in the batting order may have also saved players from being cut or being sent to the taxi squad the League has proposed under the new rules for the 2020 season.
Both Cooper and Harold Ramirez would be logical fits in the DH role. Veteran Matt Kemp can play in one of the corner outfield spots, play at first base, and share DH duties as well. The biggest decision will be which prospects are offered a chance to jump into the mix as well.
Lewin Diaz and Jazz Chisholm should at least be part of the taxi squad proposed by MLB. Monte Harrison may make the 30-man roster. Jesus Sanchez is a player to keep an eye on as well.
"“Without an obvious candidate, the Marlins’ DH situation could also be fluid based on who is hot or who provides the best matchup. The club could mix things up as well,” Frisaro added."
That also means Jonathan Villar may be called to play yet another position and Mattingly could give the third baseman, Brian Anderson, a day off from being on the diamond to take swings at the plate.