Flip that 'M', again!
It was a case of different day, same result for the Miami Marlins Thursday night! Their first Grapefruit League game under the lights ended with a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets, their sixth win in as many games. Fish Stripes’ own Ian Smith got everything started by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch!
Outfield prospect Jerar Encarnación doubled twice—the second of which can be seen in the video below—to raise his batting average to .625, Lewis Brinson homered and again showed that he was able to make adjustments at the plate, and Jordan Yamamoto and Robert Dugger combined for 5 2⁄3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Excitement w. the #Marlins isn’t about the winning of Spring games...— Danny M. (@DannyM_MIA) February 28, 2020
It’s about HOW they’re winning the games. The continuous production from top prospects, solid pitching, and occasional veteran support
This team has SO much young talent. Scary times!pic.twitter.com/fgWlLh1pLl
Up next are the Houston Astros today at 1:05 p.m. ET.
When you are 35 years old and about to embark upon your 15th major league season, there is not much you can do to reinvent yourself. However, outfielder Matt Kemp made a few adjustments to his offseason preparations. The veteran ditched meat and sunflower seeds for a plant-based diet, and the change has made his body significantly lighter and feeling more responsive and receptive to the stresses and strains of the game. Kemp is looking to secure one of the final Opening Day rosters spots, and his 3-for-7 start at the plate shows reason for optimism in regards to his chances.
Trades on the Horizon?
The Marlins seemingly have a deep pool of starting pitching talent, and teams like the Yankees are in desperate need of reinforcements before the season begins. Could the Marlins be tempted to trade from their strength again? Joe Frisaro covers this topic in his latest fan mail inbox, and also discusses Jazz Chisholm's call-up window, Lewin Díaz's chances at making the Opening Day roster, and whether or not Isan Díaz is ready for the full-time job at second base.
Pablo vs. The Injury Bug: Part Three
After spending time on the injured list with a shoulder strain each of the past two seasons, Pablo López’s first goal for 2020 is to remain healthy. With the recurring injury, the 23-year-old has struggled to showcase his potential, and he was limited to 21 starts to the tune of a 5.09 ERA last season — not a true reflection of his skill level. New teammate and battery partner Francisco Cervelli believes that this may have affected the young pitcher’s confidence, but the more that López is able to get out there and compete—like he did over 1 2⁄3 innings in his first spring start on Wednesday—the faster he will develop and build that belief in himself. The Venezuelan has a ceiling of a mid-rotation innings-eater, and has revamped his workout routine to try and balance his rest and recovery schedule and prove that he can stay on the active roster for a full season.
High-90s fastball? Check. Wipeout slider? Check. Pedro Martinez changeup? Triple check. It's Sixto Sanchez's world, and we're all going to be living in it very soon — sometime during the regular season that is, as we are still awaiting a Spring Training debut that may or may not come.