Miami Marlins face tough decisions once players get healthy

Denis Poroy

Once several players on the disabled list are healthy, the Miami Marlins will have several tough decisions as a result of promoting young prospects to take the place of injured players.

Early injuries have caused havoc for the Miami Marlins and manager Mike Redmond.

Several top prospects, including Jose Fernandez and outfielder Marcell Ozuna were called up earlier than expected, and are performing well. However, once some of the eleven Marlins on the disabled list get healthy, the organization will have some tough decisions to make.

In terms of the starting rotation, Fernandez is expected to stay. Nathan Eovaldi is expected back in June, although Henderson Alvarez experienced a setback and has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.

If the Marlins wanted to keep four of their starting five in-tact, they might consider trading Kevin Slowey, who has been among the National League's best pitchers in terms of ERA.

Beyond the rotation, right field is the position that stands out as congested. Giancarlo Stanton has been described as the player the Marlins "want to build around," though since being called up Ozuna has filled the void, hitting well and playing solid defense.

Ozuna could play the other two outfield positions, but Christian Yelich has been regarded as the Marlins' center fielder of the future.

As soon as mid-to-late 2014, Miami could have an outfield of Ozuna, Yelich, and Jake Marisnick.

Derek Dietrich, who hit his first major league home run on Friday night, has been seeing time at second base. Once Donovan Solano and Chris Valaika return, Miami has a decision to make in terms of what they are going to do with Dietrich.

The Marlins will also have to decide how many catchers they want to carry. Currently, there are three on the 25-man roster in Rob Brantly, Miguel Olivo, and Kyle Skipworth.

Jeff Mathis has been playing in rehab games, and could join the team at some point in the coming weeks.

President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest has acknowledged that the upcoming roster crunch when several players get healthy will require some tough decisions.

"The headache is coming when guys start to get healthy and we have to make room," Beinfest said in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel, "Like the [Derek] Dietrich case, we spent a lot of time talking about it and the implications of putting him on the roster now, and he's going to remain on the roster. He didn't have to be added until this winter, or maybe even September if we would have brought him up, but we had to do what we had to do."

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