clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Miami Marlins have utility infield depth

With just one or two roster spots up for grabs, the club will look at a handful of options this spring.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Miami should not have an issue with regard to its bench in 2015. Even if the club elects to carry 13 pitchers, its bench is expected to feature a handful of veterans to give the Marlins depth.'s Joe Frisaro notes the Marlins are going to hold a competition for bench spots, with Donovan Solano, Don Kelly, Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas, Reid Brignac, Scott Sizemore, and Reed Johnson all hoping to win a spot.

"We've got a lot of guys competing for a short number of spots," manager Mike Redmond said. "We'll throw them all out there and let them compete."

If there is only one spot available, since the Marlins are open to carrying an extra reliever in 2015, Solano could be the favorite because of his experience.  He posted a .252/.300/.323 line in 111 games for the Marlins in 2014, and added 28 RBIs. Solano has not consistently provided power from the right side of the plate, however he can play several infield positions and is a reliable defensive option.

Solano and Dietrich are comparable in that both have seen time as the Marlins' starting second baseman. Dietrich, though, has had difficulty defensively throughout the course of his brief major league career. He posted a .228/.326/.386 line in 2014, but as Frisaro notes, the fact that he does not have experience playing shortstop may hurt his chances to make the team. The Marlins would ideally like to carry a backup shortstop, with Dietrich only familiar with first, second, and third base.

Miguel Rojas could prove to be the backup shortstop the Marlins are seeking, however while he is known as a plus defender, an inconsistent bat has plagued him throughout the course of his young career. Rojas, 26, was acquired in the Andrew Heaney trade with the Dodgers, and if Hechavarria, who is battling shoulder soreness, misses a notable amount of time, Rojas would likely emerge as his replacement. Brignac also is a veteran option who has seen time at shortstop.

Kelly is a notably versatile piece who can play the outfield and first base, and his consistent left-handed bat may be attractive to the Marlins. Miami does not want to overuse Michael Morse in an attempt to keep him healthy throughout the second half of the season, and Kelly would be able to give several starters days off.

Reed Johnson was productive in a pinch hitting role last season, and he and Scott Sizemore may compete for an outfield spot. With Ichiro Suzuki on the bench, though, there may not be a need for another backup outfielder.

The Marlins, for the most part, have their 25-man roster set. And the bench should be efficient in 2015 considering the organizational depth Miami created.