As the MLB Trade Deadline nears, the Miami Marlins must decide if they will add or subtract from their current roster.
The Miami Marlins aren’t the team some national media members predicted them to be. It’s possible the 60-game season and the issues the organization has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the franchise’s timetable of success forward a bit, much to the delight of fans who are starving for a winning baseball team to support.
As MLB moves closer to the trade deadline, the next week of baseball may determine how the Marlins front office seeks to improve its roster. Players who have been dealing with the Coronavirus are on the mend. When they will return has not been determined yet.
While the other four teams in the National League East are preparing for a run toward the end of the season, they too are looking to either buy or sell at the end of the month. It could be a wild race to determine division superiority. The best thing about all of it is the Miami Marlins are right in the middle of all that is happening.
Exciting times, indeed.
The Coronavirus has hurt the Marlins starting rotation, but what will this season do to make sure there is a solid nucleus to get them through the stretch run? Joe Frisaro discussed this in part of a story on MLB.com.
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"“Three top starters — Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, and José Ureña — remain on the injured list as part of the 18 Marlins players who tested positive for COVID-19. Thus far, the Marlins are patching together the rotation, with Pablo López, Elieser Hernandez, and Jordan Yamamoto stepping up,” Frisaro writes. ‘Beyond those three, the club is dipping into its prospect pool. Alcantara, Smith, and Ureña have yet to be cleared to start throwing’.”"
Miami has been blessed by the deep talent in the minor league system that has risen to help give the team a boost when it has been most needed. Starters Nick Neidert, Robert Dugger, and Hernandez have been able to step into modified roles and give the team a much-needed shot of adrenaline.
How the Marlins plan to proceed with their prospects toward the end of the season might also be an indicator of how the starting rotation could look in 2021.
"“Top prospect Sixto Sánchez could become an option later this month or in September, but the 22-year-old hasn’t pitched above Double-A,” Frisaro explains. “The Marlins have a deep farm system, with six players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Miami has not been in the playoffs since 2003 or had a winning season since ‘09, and it’s clearly in “win-now” mode. If necessary, it may be tempted to make a trade for rotation help.”"
Seven of the team’s top 12 prospects are pitchers. Sanchez figures to part of the plan for 2021, which would mean a starter (or two) could be on the move. The Marlins can use another bat in the middle of the lineup, which could trigger a trade. The bullpen has been shifted around as well due to the issues with COVID-19.