Big baseball ops opening
With each passing day, I got increasingly concerned about the Marlins heading in this direction. Then, official word came Sunday morning that president of baseball operations Michael Hill “will not be returning” for the 2021 season.
Hill’s primary offense, it seems, was working under Jeffrey Loria—regardless of recent job performance, that made it unlikely that he’d receive a contract extension from new Marlins ownership. CEO Derek Jeter has been determined to bring in his own people whenever possible, and it’s hard to dispute the effectiveness of that approach.
Even so, the optics here stink. The Marlins cannot be fully trusted locally and respected internationally until they have continuity at their most important positions. This departure is especially disappointing coming from an organization that has been vocal about valuing diversity. Hill is among only a handful of Black executives around the majors who’s involved in baseball ops. How often do small-market franchises kick out white execs following postseason berths?
Latest from instructs
Top prospects from the Marlins and Nationals organizations have spent most of this month scrimmaging against one another in the Florida Instructional League. The eighth game of their 12-game schedule was supposed to take place Saturday morning, but that had to be postponed because of potential COVID-19 cases at Marlins camp, David Driver from our Nats sister site Federal Baseball reports.
MLB guidelines dictate that instructs players are to be tested at least twice per week. No word yet on whether the club will be cleared to compete Tuesday afternoon (as originally scheduled).
Nonetheless, Fish Stripes has some highlights to share from this past week. Behold the funky delivery of right-hander M.D. Johnson who paints with his changeup and fastball to induce a swinging strike and called third strike, respectively:
And how about 17-year-old Eury Pérez? The youngest pitcher on the Marlins instructs roster touched 95 miles per hour in his latest outing (though the putaway pitch below was only 94):
- According to our latest email survey, Marlins fan confidence dipped slightly from an (unsustainable) 100% to 95% after the team was eliminated by the Braves. Sign up for MLB Reacts here to have your voice heard moving forward.
- I compare and contrast Miami’s and Philadelphia’s front office vacancies.
- Congrats to former Marlin Kiké Hernández on his game-tying home run in the sixth inning of NLCS Game 7, which helped propel the Dodgers to a World Series berth. Their matchup against Nick Anderson and the Rays begins Tuesday night.
- Catcher Chad Wallach chatted with The Pro’s List about his career progress and offseason training regimen.
- Cherish the 2020 season with t-shirts from Peter Pratt’s new Marlins UK collection, paying homage to popular catch phrases and signature quotes/moments.