Jordan Yamamoto continues to develop as one of the top pitchers in the Miami Marlins rotation this summer.
The fifth spot in the Miami Marlins rotation should make for an interesting 10 days down in South Florida.
Four of the five starters – Sandy Alcantara, Jose Urena, Caleb Smith, and Pablo Lopez appear to be locked in but may not pitch in that order. It’s the battle for the fifth spot that continues to gain more traction as several arms are competing for one spot. The good thing is competition makes this team better. It also means starters who have shown a strong presence during camp will move to the bullpen to make the relief corps even better.
If the 2020 season started today, Jordan Yamamoto would figure into manager Don Mattingly’s rotation, but Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger have shown they are capable of making the starting five as well. For Yamamoto, this is the second season on the mound for Miami, having been called up last season from Double-A Jacksonville.
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The 24-year-old looked like a was an All-Star when he was called to The Show in mid-June, but went through the growing pains of adjusting to life in the Majors. He also dealt with an injury late in the 2019 season. Now, he is healthy and ready to put his own stamp on this season, no matter how many starts he may get in a 60-game season.
"“It’s just adjusting and taking every game and taking every outing and rolling with it so that I stay unpredictable to the hitters,” Yamamoto said in a web conference with reporters on Monday afternoon via sun-sentinel.com."
His comments were familiar to me as we discussed the same thing while he was a member of the Jumbo Shrimp in Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2019 Southern League season. Yamamoto was direct about his thoughts on playing not only for Miami’s Double-A team but his path to the Majors. He handled his time in Florida the same way he approached the move to Miami and now this season.
Another year on the mound, albeit not the lengthy summer he or anyone had planned for could help him make more adjustments to his pitching arsenal.
"“Yamamoto went 4-0 with a 1.59 earned-run average in his first six starts last season,” Jordan McPherson adds. “The Marlins won all of those starts from the 6-foot Hawaiian hurler, except a 1-0 no decision against the Atlanta Braves. Over Yamamoto’s next nine starts, he went 0-5 with a 6.65 ERA.”"
A few more wins would also help the adjustment period for Yamamoto and this young Miami Marlins staff. A better bullpen and more consistency in the later innings wouldn’t hurt, either.
The Marlins have continued to add young pitching prospects since Derek Jeter took over as the team’s CEO. The stockpiling means the organization is full of arms, waiting for their turns, to impress on the highest level of baseball. Yamamoto must continue to improve with each game on the mound.
It’s the kind of “problem” most managers would love to have. Manager Don Mattingly has a tough decision to make in the next few days in setting the rotation and the bullpen. Yamamoto is a lock to be playing on the 30-man roster. He is almost guaranteed the fifth spot in the rotation, But things can happen in 10 days.
"“It’s just adjusting and taking every game and taking every outing and rolling with it so that I stay unpredictable to the hitters,” Yamamoto said."