Miami could have the best outfield in baseball in 2016. The organization said it last off-season, they said it this winter and it almost certainly can prove to be true.
Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich can arguably match up with any three outfielders in baseball. But they must remain healthy.
The Marlins are rightfully being cautious, but it appears Yelich has already been plagued by injuries. He sat out Wednesday with back stiffness, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Yelich was given day off from being on field. felt some back stiffness from Monday game. day to day #Marlins— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) March 2, 2016
It is still early in the spring, and it does not look like Yelich will be out for an extended period of time. However, this has now become something to monitor.
Manager Don Mattingly has praised Yelich's offensive ability. Yelich and Stanton hitting consecutively could prove to be notably valuable. It has not happened much to this point, though, since at some time or another, one of the two has been on the disabled list when the other is healthy.
Yelich only appeared in 126 games for the Marlins last season after spending time on the disabled list early with a back issue. He does not anticipate this back pain creating the same result, according to Craig Davis of The Sun-Sentinel.
Yelich has some back tightness, didn't do baseball activities today. Says couple days, should be fine. "Not like last year."— Craig Davis (@CraigDavisRuns) March 2, 2016
Yelich, despite the time on the DL, was still productive last season, batting .300/.366/.416 to complement seven home runs and 44 RBIs.
Miami lacks outfield depth, which makes Yelich's status that much more significant. If Yelich were to be placed on the DL, Ichiro Suzuki would likely be his replacement. Derek Dietrich could be another option, but it is likely an issue the Marlins do not want to have to consider.
Yelich, especially because he adds a left-handed bat to the lineup, is notably valuable. For the Marlins to have success, he must remain healthy.