Miami Marlins: Players who a shortened season could help

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Garrett Cooper #26 of the Miami Marlins hits a fourth inning double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 18, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18: Garrett Cooper #26 of the Miami Marlins hits a fourth inning double against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 18, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Will these three players have an impact on the Miami Marlins this season because of the fewer games the team will play in 2020?

There is still plenty of things the Miami Marlins must get done before the start of the 2020 season.

In no specific order: Find a fifth starter for the rotation, settle on the bullpen, determine who will play in the outfield, define the bench, decide if this will be a deep roster of prospects and make sure players who have been injured are ready to take on the new season.

That’s a lot to write about and a lot for manager Don Mattingly to make happen in less than two weeks.

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Luckily, the Miami Marlins have a deep roster to choose from and what appears to be plenty of depth with veteran players in camp and prospects itching to get their first taste of the Major Leagues.

While many players want to play a longer season, there are some players who would benefit from this change of games and could actually help the Miami Marlins make it to the postseason. Here are three players to watch over the next two months who should benefit from the schedule the Marlins are playing this summer.

Pablo Lopez

You hate to mention the word injury when starting a season, but Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez has been stung by the injury bug the past two seasons. A shortened season could help the youngster get back on track and could be the player who surprises everyone this season.

Right now, Lopez is projected as Miami’s third or fourth starter based on how manager Don Mattingly feels about Jose Urena in the rotation. If Lopez can avoid arm issues this season, fans may have a chance to see how dominant he can be on the mound.

Lopez tore up hitters at Class-AA Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans before getting his golden ticket to the Majors in 2018. There is still plenty like about the right-hander who has a career record of 7-12 with a 4.76 ERA in 31 starts.

Garrett Cooper

Again, another player who has the makings of an All-Star if he can stay healthy. Two straight years Garrett Cooper did everything the Miami Marlins coaching staff asked of him in camp. He won the right to start the season in the Opening Day lineup, but injuries decimated his 2018 and 2019 campaign.

Last season, Cooper swatted 15 home runs and could have been a threat to hit 25-30 of them – provided it was a 162-game schedule.

Cooper might be the Miami Marlins player who benefits the most from the use of the designated hitter in the National League because all he has to do is swing a bat. He also offers Mattingly more versatility because he can play right field and first base.

Should Cooper play first base, he will share the bag with Jesus Aguilar who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason.

Lewis Brinson

Marlins fans pray this is the season Lewis Brinson showcases what we all know is the ability to play baseball at a high rate with a swing he needs to get in front of.

The Miami Marlins wanted Brinson, who was acquired in the trade that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, to be their centerpiece player to build around. Instead, they got a player who looks the part in Spring Training, but when it comes to the regular season, everything short-circuits. There is a real possibility if he can put it all together – along with his speed on the bases and his defense, he could be an All-Star and five-tool player who hits 30 home runs as a leadoff guy.

The Miami Marlins front office is still waiting for that to happen. Hopefully, a shorter season will help Brinson because this might be his last chance to make a lasting impression.

Next. Taking a look at the Marlins 2020 schedule. dark

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