Will a designated hitter by committee help or hurt the Miami Marlins chances at the plate in 2020?
The Miami Marlins have used a “closer by committee” approach during Don Mattingly’s tenure as the team’s manager. Let’s just say having Brandon Kintzler as the team’s specialist makes Miami Marlins fans better.
We can only hope the idea of using a designated hitter by committee is going to look like a great idea of Mattingly may have to explain this approach if the team cannot find the right combination of hitters this season.
"“For the Marlins, who gets the DH nod could depend upon matchups and who is hot,” Joe Frisaro writes on MLB.com.“In constructing its 2020 roster, the Marlins’ front office wasn’t considering the possibility of pitchers not hitting.”"
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Now it is an important part of the next three weeks. The Marlins may not have a player who would fill this slot in the lineup if the team were in the American League, but the contenders on the roster could still provide pop in the middle of the order if needed.
When it was announced the DH would be a universal part of this season, Matt Kemp would be one of the few players that could fill that role and remain on the team’s roster. The Miami Marlins did not keep Kemp on their 60-man roster pool. Now, the job falls on a younger generation of players who have the sole responsibility of hitting the baseball out of the park every time they come to the plate.
"“For us, we’re not built to have one guy,” Mattingly said. “We don’t have Big Papi sitting there who is going to DH every day.”"
The reference is based on the role David Ortiz had with the Boston Red Sox. If the Marlins wanted to make that kind of investment in a player for 2020, might I remind them that Yasiel Puig is still out there in free agency?
Mattingly is blessed to have more than a few choices to choose from when looking at each opponent this coming season. Garrett Cooper and Jesus Aguilar will split time at first base. They both look like candidates. And, there are others.
"“Center fielder Jonathan Villar, who is a switch-hitter, could be used in the role as well. So might left-handed-hitting outfielder Matt Joyce, a starting right field possibility,” Frisaro adds.“Outfielder Harold Ramirez is another strong hitter who could DH.”"
It will be interesting to see if one player fits into the role, will Mattingly change his approach? If it isn’t broken, would the Miami Marlins look to fix it? Remember there were only 146 home runs last year from this team and the batting order swing a collective .241 for the season.
"“The environment is going to be a little bit more of a playoff environment, a pennant race environment,” Mattingly said. “So the decision-making process, where maybe two years ago, I’m going to let a pitcher go an extra inning, or try to get out of a jam, or try to get out of this situation.”"