Miami Marlins: Time is ticking on Magneuris Sierra decision

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01: Magneuris Sierra #34 of the Miami Marlins in action during the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01: Magneuris Sierra #34 of the Miami Marlins in action during the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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What will the Miami Marlins do with Magneuris Sierra? Does he make the team’s 30-man roster or does the organization lose him this season?

One of the decisions the Miami Marlins must decide in the next few days is what to do with Magneuris Sierra. Will the speedster make the 30-man roster on Opening Day?

Sierra, who I saw many times in person as a member of the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, is out of minor league options. Do the Marlins take a chance in losing him if he is not added to the 30-man roster? Sierra’s speed is something this roster could use. He, Jon Berti and Jonathan Villar would give manager Don Mattingly more options on the bases this coming season,

"“Mags is a guy that we continue to see develop, which is nice,” Mattingly said Wednesday. “He’s gotten bigger physically. Balls are coming off his bat better. He’s just getting more experiences. His play was a lot better last year than the first.”"

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Sierra is never going to be mistaken for a power hitter in the middle of the Miami Marlins lineup. He can be a solid top-of-the-order hitter or down at the bottom of the lineup. Keeping him on the roster when there are other prospects who may offer more to the team in a short season is something Mattingly and the coaching staff must weigh carefully.

"“Steal a bag, defensive replacement, you’ve got the 10th inning-type thing. There’s some scenarios in this type of setting. You’ll see teams that are in pennant races down the stretch. I remember the Dodgers in particular,” Mattingly said. “We probably spent a month and a half looking for a speed guy, trying different guys in the minor leagues because you can only afford that one shot.:"

Given the changes in the teams that the Marlins will face this year from the American League, the strategy changes a bit. While there are more opportunities to score runs with an added bat in the order, the need to move hitters around the diamond is still a concern. Speed is certainly a plus. Getting hitters to come through at the right time is paramount for the Miami Marlins.

"“When you have a roster with American League rules, you don’t use as many players so you can kind of afford that spot. That creates a different role not just for him but maybe a few different guys, too,” Mattingly said."

Sierra has 91 Major League games under his belt but has just eight stolen bases in 15 attempts. Should he make the Marlins roster, does that mean Mattingly will give him the green light to flash that speed more often, once he gets on base?

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