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Offishial news, 10/21/20: Mattingly speaks on 2020 season, Marlins’ future

Don Mattingly is disappointed that his team has been eliminated, but admittedly relieved to escape the stresses of playing (and traveling) during a pandemic.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After nearly two years of using “Our Noticias” in the title of these morning news roundups, it’s time for a rebrand. “Offishial news” will serve the exact same purpose, sharing and contextualizing the latest Marlins-related developments.

Donnie logs on

Marlins manager Don Mattingly fielded questions via Zoom on Tuesday morning, covering both the lessons learned from the 2020 season and the relevance they might have when it comes to constructing the club moving forward. Ordinarily, this is an occasion for head front office decision-makers to make themselves available, but the Marlins still have a void there after moving on from longtime president of baseball operations Michael Hill on Sunday.

Perhaps Mattingly’s most interesting take was that he projects right-hander Elieser Hernandez to be in the 2021 Opening Day rotation (alongside Sandy Alcantara and Pablo López). Numerous pitching prospects who debuted this past summer, including Sixto Sánchez, will be in the mix for the final two spots.

Sánchez established a new single-season high in 2019 with 114 competitive innings pitched between High-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented him from expanding on that. Determined as the Marlins are to be a contender next year, I consider it very unlikely that they’d assign the young flamethrower a full starter’s workload—180 innings plus the postseason—when accounting for his injury history. Optioning him to Triple-A Wichita early in the campaign is a legitimate possibility, as is utilizing him out of the bullpen.

Mattingly has already been awarded NL Manager of the Year honors by the Sporting News (“it’s so good to be recognized,” he said). He’s the frontrunner to get the same treatment from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America next month.

Walk-off links

  • According to our latest email survey, three-quarters of MLB fans are rooting for the Rays in the World Series. They dropped Game 1 to the Dodgers on Tuesday, 8-3. Sign up for MLB Reacts here to have your voice heard moving forward.