The Miami Marlins are finally home to play some baseball
By David Levin
Will home games for the Miami Marlins allow this team to further its lead in the National League East this week?
The Miami Marlins have an opportunity to play at home over the next week and make a huge statement about the National League East playoff race.
With two series against the Atlanta Braves and then the New York Mets, fans in South Florida will see if Don Mattingly’s club is a contender or pretender in 2020.
Sorry for the cliche, but it had to be written. I’m pretty sure this was not the narrative the organization wanted to follow, but for now this is a baseball team that is not only a potential playoff contender, but the players who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are also on the mend.
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If anything, it creates more opportunity and another chance for another chapter to be written in the Marlins story this season.
Mattingly was candid with the media after the 14-11 victory over Toronto as we talked about on Thursday, knowing all too well this is a season no one will soon forget.
"“I know guys are feeling good,” Mattingly said via MLB.com. “That’s the one thing that we do know — that they’re asymptomatic. They’re feeling great. All these guys, they feel like they are ready to go. How long that process takes, I’m not sure.”"
One, in particular, Sandy Alcantara, may join the club soon. According to sources, he has passed the protocol of two negative tests and is working towards getting back on the mound in Jupiter before a potential move back to Miami.
The Marlins won’t rush him back to the MLB roster.
There is no word yet when players who have been on the I.L. because of the Coronavirus will make their way to Jupiter to begin the process of getting back in baseball shape.
The Marlins are getting solid performances from both Brian Anderson and Jesus Aguilar and the pitching staff, while it has been reassembled many times this season, looks stronger than it did last season.
There are a few concerns, especially with outfielders Monte Harrison and Lewis Brinson, two players the team needs to find more consistency at the plate. Both have been in and out of the Marlins lineup in recent days.
The coaching staff, including Mattingly, are being patient with Harrison as he continues to adjust to the speed and changes of MLB.
"“It’s just a different level here,” Mattingly said. “I think that’s the one thing you see with all kinds of prospects. It’s not just Monte or different guys that came up.”"
Tonight, Pablo Lopez gets the ball against the Braves, who are a game behind in the division standings.