Ryan Yousefi of the Miami New Times observes lots of positivity among Marlins fans as the 2020 regular season approaches. But it’s all for naught unless the team takes a tangible step forward on the field:
The team has a lot of players worth following, and the franchise is in a healthy position. It’s up to the Marlins brass to capitalize on the hype, add to it, and grow. Marlins fans are not willing to watch a loser take the field for the next five years, and they certainly won’t be sticking around for another rebuild after the last one.
No Marlins season in the history of the franchise is more important than this one. There’s a fork in the road, with one path leading to promise, earned trust, and respect and the other leading to new depths of fan numbness.
Coming off last season’s 57-105 slog, PECOTA projects the Fish to go 71-91 and FanGraphs has them at 66-96.
First-round draft pick JJ Bleday received a non-roster invite to Marlins major league camp this spring. He explains his daily routine to MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola. Staying at the team hotel near the complex in Jupiter, he wakes up before sunrise to avoid feeling rushed in his preparation.
Bleday led the nation with 27 home runs in his junior season at Vanderbilt, convincing the Marlins to select him with the No. 4 overall pick. Shortly after signing, he was given an aggressive assignment at High-A Jupiter, where he slashed .257/.311/.379 (107 wRC+) in 38 games.
The revolution will be televised...right?
The much-maligned regional television deal between the Marlins and FOX Sports Florida finally expires after the 2020 season. Multiple reports in recent months indicate that the franchise has been in negotiations with the network on an extension, rather than seeking an unconventional broadcast solution.
Finding a fair value for the Fish is complicated coming off years of poor ratings during the rebuild and at a time when consumers are increasingly “cutting the cord” to avoid the costs of a cable package. YouTubeTV subscribers got a scare on Thursday when the service announced they couldn’t reach a distribution deal with parent company Sinclair. But there’s now a temporary extension in place for them to resolve that.
From Rule 5 to No. 5 starter?
Ryan Pollack dives deep into the characteristics of Elieser Hernandez’s slider and fastball and comes away from it feeling encouraged about his long-term potential, validating the Marlins’ decision to add him through the 2017 Rule 5 Draft. During his age-24 campaign, Hernandez demonstrated great strikeout skills at both Triple and in the majors.
Unless the Marlins can find a José Ureña trade partner in the coming weeks, Hernandez will likely be squeezed out of the starting rotation. Question is whether they’ll send him down to build up innings or revisit the bullpen experiment (he struggled in relief last season).
- Our own Christian Cevallos compiled highlights from the Marlins’ 6-0 start to Spring Training. Time to start another streak!
- MLB.com has sortable player stats for all the Marlins to appear in the Grapefruit League thus far. Who’s missing? Jeff Brigham (biceps), Ryan Cook (toe), Sixto Sánchez (throwing program) and backup catcher Santiago Chavez.
- Beyond the Bases has a brief interview with Trey Hillman, where he discusses his comfort level moving from first base to third base coach and some off-the-field hobbies.
- Laurence “Marlins Man” Leavy will attend the Triple-A Wichita home opener next month along with 333 new friends. The South Florida attorney has purchased a full section’s worth of tickets that he says he’ll donate to “police, firemen, military and teachers.”
- Good luck to Roger Hoover! The voice of Double-A Jacksonville broadcasts for eight seasons is leaving his position to pursue more opportunities in the college sports world. Here’s his goodbye letter to the city and its fans:
Scott Kornberg will handle play-by-play duties for the team in 2020.