The Miami Marlins roster took another hit on Saturday when it was announced that second baseman Isan Diaz has elected to opt out of the 2020 season.
The Miami Marlins organization has had to deal with their season being placed on hold because of the spread of the Coronavirus this past week. Now the team must adjust to finding a new second baseman to take the field when the ballclub resumes play on Tuesday.
Per MLB.com, Isan The news means Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has another tough decision to make with his lineup, and also the front office must now determine who will Diaz’s spot on the 30-man roster.
Because of the sheer numbers of players and personnel that have been part of the COVID-19 quarantine with the Marlins, the front office has been busy adding players to the organization. Scheduling has also been an issue, not only for Miami but for the teams that are scheduled to play them this season. The Marlins have not been on a baseball field since last Sunday afternoon.
"“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Diaz said in a message he posted on Instagram Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes. “After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season.”"
Diaz had a monster season in the Pacific Coast League in 2019 before being called up to the Majors during the second half of the season. His introduction to the parent club was mixed as he showed power at times that included home runs off Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. He did not show consistency at the plate last season and did have issues defensively as well.
Before the start of training camp in Jupiter, Florida, Diaz was busy working on his technique, waiting to get back to Jupiter, Florida with his teammates. Now, he has made the decision for the sake of his health and that of his family.
"“Miami’s Opening Day second baseman, Diaz appeared in two of Miami’s first three games, going 2-for-9 (.222). As a rookie in 2019, he was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans in August, and in 49 big league games, he had a slash line of .173/.259/.307 with five home runs and 23 RBIs,” Frisaro wrote."
There are options to replace Diaz on the roster that are already part of the Marlins organization. Jonathan Villar can move into the role as it is his most familiar spot on the field. Jon Berti could also spend time at second base. Once he is back on the field, Miguel Rojas could move from shortstop to second base, which could mean one of the team’s top prospects, Jazz Chisholm could move to the parent club at some point.
As Frisaro also explained, the Marlins will also look to free agency or other clubs with a potential deal always a possibility.
The team is also working to resume the baseball season, having played a waiting game that is now a week-long and growing.
"“MLB announced on Saturday that the Marlins are set to resume their season in Baltimore from Tuesday through Thursday, with one day including a doubleheader (all game times TBD) and the Marlins serving as the home team for two games,” Frisaro added."