How will the Miami Marlins coaching staff get creative with the starting rotation and pitching staff in 2020?
There are still questions to be answered with regard to the starting rotation and who will fill out the bullpen. Four of the five starters are basically confirmed, but which order they fall in has yet to be determined. The fifth starter could come from a group of young pictures you could be also used in long-term relief.
"“The message to our guys is, ‘Why not us?’” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said via MLB.com. “Why can’t the Miami Marlins be a team that is competing for a division title and the playoffs as we restart this thing?”"
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As you know, I have been on the Marlins playoff push for the past few days. It’s not unheard of for a team with little chance before the season begins to catch lightning in a bottle. And because the pitching staff is expected to be better this coming season, this could be the gateway to the team’s move toward the postseason.
Maybe the best part of the 60-man-roster this season is the fact that Mattingly has plenty of choices from which to draw from. But deciding who becomes the fifth arm is a storyline we all should watch closely.
Assuming that Sandy Alcantara will be the opening day pitcher, who does Mattingly depend on next? Walking into spring training, I thought it would be Caleb Smith who when he is locked in he is as dominant a strikeout pitcher there is in the National League.
I’m beginning to think however that Jose Urena will be the team’s second arm with Smith falling to the middle of the rotation. Pablo Lopez figures to be the fourth arm and then that’s where the “fun” begins.
If the season started today, Jordan Yamamoto has the best shot at being the fifth starter. Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger, who made spot starts last season, are still in the mix. Add Nick Neidert to the list since he is now part of the 60-man pool and there could be plenty of shuffling between the rotation and bullpen.
Mattingly could also get creative with a possible sixth starter. Hill is excited to see what will happen with the new arms added to the bullpen – closer Brandon Kintzler and former Dodgers reliever Yimi Garcia – and the holdovers from last year.
"“We feel as confident as anyone as we start this thing,” Hill said. “We’re trying to play into October.”"