Will the Miami Marlins become a better ball club as the team has improved both in the outfield and in the bullpen?
Most of the decisions concerning the Miami Marlins and the 2020 Opening Day roster were decided before MLB reopened training camps with the plan for the regular season to begin in less than three weeks. The Marlins, who own a 57-105 record from last season, have plenty of depth and a pitching staff that could make things pretty interesting in a shortened 60-game season.
“We were down to the last couple of guys when we left spring,” manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday via MLB.com. “Obviously, you’ve got to come back and see who is healthy and who’s not.”
The Marlins are hoping the changes made to their roster from last season, where they took the time to strengthen the bullpen and added more depth in the outfield, to help this team realize a winning season. Adding veteran hitters to the lineup and bringing in experience to the bullpen will help.
And, because there is plenty of depth already on the roster and in the farm system, the holdovers such as Brian Anderson, Jorge Alfaro, and Miguel Rojas will play an important role in the success of the 2020 squad.
“The Marlins project Corey Dickerson to be in left field and Jonathan Villar in center, but right is unclear. Harold Ramirez, Matt Joyce, Lewis Brinson and Garrett Cooper are starting candidates,” Joe Frisaro adds. “Monte Harrison (Miami’s No. 9 prospect) also could win an outfield spot.”
Harrison is the one we are talking about now because he has taken the next step. There are others who could make an impact as well, including Lewin Diaz at first base or designated hitter, Jesus Sanchez in the outfield, and Jerar Encarnacion, who is probably a year or two away from a date with the Bog Leagues.
As for the bullpen, this is where the Miami Marlins have the best chance to show they are an improved team over last season. Led by new closer Brandon Kintzler, the Marlins hope the starting pitching is improved and the arms that come out of the pen are good enough to save games, not give them up in 2020.
“The bullpen clearly is the most in flux. Brandon Kintzler projects to close. Ryne Stanek, Adam Conley, Yimi García, and Drew Steckenrider are likely locks to make it, health permitting,” Frisaro wrote. “Right-hander Sterling Sharp and southpaw Stephen Tarpley are strong possibilities.”
Because there is an abundance of starters who will not make the rotation, there is added depth Mattingly can use at his disposal.