Captain’s Camp, Round Three
As a 14-time All-Star and now a member of the MLB Hall of Fame, Derek Jeter’s passion, determination, work ethic, and baseball know-how has never been in question. Jeter has frequently described his role as Marlins CEO as a way to give back to the game, and his “Captain’s Camp” is the embodiment of that sentiment. Heading into its third season, the program is designed to teach Miami’s top prospects how to approach and play the game the right way and help them to develop both on and off the field. This year the class will feature JJ Bleday, Víctor Víctor Mesa, Trevor Rogers, and ten other highly-regarded youngsters from the Marlins farm system. All 13 players will also be available for autographs at FanFest, which is taking place on February 8 at Marlins Park.
All teams experience headaches when trying to set their rosters for Opening Day, especially when it comes to the bullpen. Contending teams usually have more talented arms than roster spots available, whereas rebuilding teams sometimes struggle to find enough relievers they can trust with the game on the line. The Marlins are firmly in the latter category, having seen major turnover after a seriously disappointing showing from the relief corps in 2019, and then doing little so far to plug the gaps created. With the signing of Yimi García and Drew Steckenrider's return from injury all hope is not lost for the bullpen in 2020, but there will be many eyes on the non-roster invitees during Spring Training to see if anyone already within the system can contribute long-term. In fact, the likes of Pat Venditte and Alex Vesia could have a major impact on the 2020 season, unless...
Strop Interested in Miami
The Marlins could always dig a little deeper into their pockets and sign another free agent pitcher or two, and a good one may just have his heart set on Miami. Over the past seven seasons with the Cubs, Pedro Strop has produced a 2.90 ERA over 411 appearances. Outside of his first two years with the Rangers, 2019 was the worst of Strop's career thanks in part to spikes in both BB/9 and HR/9, but the 34-year-old still saved ten games and brings with him a lengthy record of success. If Strop proves too expensive, there are also plenty of other options still available, including some familiar faces.
2019 solidified the fact that the Marlins have found their third baseman of the future in Brian Anderson. While the 26-year-old does not play the position exclusively, the Marlins only strengthened their depth at the hot corner by adding the versatile and dynamic Jonathan Villar. Across the diamond at first, the Marlins had some issues last season, with Garrett Cooper often injured and the likes of Neil Walker and Martín Prado providing minimal value. Now, former All-Star Jesús Aguilar and top prospect Lewin Díaz are in the mix, giving Miami's corner infielders a promising outlook for 2020.
Long gone are the days of sun burns and rain delays at Marlins games—unless we're talking about Spring Training. If Marlins Park has spoiled you with its retractable roof and comfortable air conditioning and you no longer feel like braving the elements to cheer on the Fish, then Fox Sports has you somewhat covered this Spring Training. Six of the team's 31 Grapefruit League games will be shown on FOX Sports Florida. The coverage schedule can be found here.