What we know so far
I don’t typically obsess over Opening Day roster decisions, but the 60-game schedule hardly leaves time for adjustments—anybody who’s active for the Marlins to begin the season has the chance to stick around for the entire season. With only a few days to go until the 30-man group is announced, here are some notes to consider:
- The initial starting rotation is led by Sandy Alcantara. Caleb Smith and José Ureña will start on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, followed by Pablo López and Elieser Hernandez on Monday and Tuesday against the Orioles.
- Expected Opening Day roster selections Jordan Yamamoto (optioned), Lewis Brinson (injury/illness) and Matt Joyce (injury/illness) won’t be with the club. That creates opportunities for some highly regarded prospects, most notably Monte Harrison.
- During media-accessible simulated games this month, Jonathan Villar was mainly deployed in center field. However, he has allegedly gotten steady workout reps at second base and shortstop as well. His defensive assignments will be dictated by the needs of the roster.
- Brad Boxberger had seemingly secured a bullpen job during spring training. The expanded roster size now makes that a no-brainer. However, the Marlins will need to create space for him on the 40-man first.
- Jeff Brigham appeared in at least three sim games during Summer Camp. Manager Don Mattingly remains non-committal about his readiness for the season coming off a right biceps injury, but that is encouraging.
Exhibition games in Atlanta on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET start time) and Wednesday (4 p.m. ET start time) should provide further hints about who will make the cut.
Our own Luis Davila will publish his third and final roster projection on Wednesday night.
Fish Picks returns
Win or lose, Fish Stripes is committed to making every Marlins game during the 2020 season feel like appointment viewing. That’s why we will once again be customizing daily, pregame prop bets, tracking all of your responses and awarding prizes to the points leaders. Fish Picks is BACK and better than ever!
Fish Stripes has partnered with Fantom Drip, who will be sending out protective, Marlins-themed face covers to the weekly points leaders. Rep your favorite team while helping your community combat the spread of COVID-19!
Fantom Drip also designed a Fish Stripes version. Get 10% off your entire order with promo code FD10 (and let them know Ely sent you).
Old Friend updates
Former Marlins starting pitchers are all over the league leaderboards in the Korea Baseball Organization this season. Dan Straily ranks first in the KBO with 89 strikeouts, Odrisamer Despaigne has the most starts (15) and innings pitched (90 1/3), while Drew Rucinski is tied for tops in the league with nine wins.
First baseman Justin Bour is slashing .289/.345/.500 with five home runs in 22 games for the Hanshin Tigers, the hottest team in the Japan Central League.
Neil Walker had his contract selected by the Phillies. He’ll be on their Opening Day roster and facing his former employer on Friday to kick off his 12th major league season. Ditto for Logan Morrison with the Brewers. Former Marlins prospect Michael King got his first taste of the majors at the end of 2019. King may have solidified a role on the Yankees’ 2020 pitching staff with his good performance on Saturday.
Checking in with former Marlins prospect Michael King. Starting for the Yankees vs. the Mets in an exhibition game tonight. Potentially could make their Opening Day roster. pic.twitter.com/17AeFMwnec— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) July 18, 2020
And lastly, shout out to Henderson Álvarez. He solicited offers from MLB teams throughout the winter and spring to no avail, but at least he’ll salvage something from the 2020 season, announcing on Sunday night that he has signed to play indy ball.
- Congratulations to Miguel Rojas! He and his wife Mariana are expecting their second child, a girl, later this year.
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- Daniel Álvarez Montes and Oscar Prieto Rojas have a Spanish-language interview with Sandy Alcantara reacting to the news of his Opening Day starting assignment.
- Yasiel Puig tested positive for COVID-19 while taking his physical with the Braves, he announced on social media. He remains a free agent.
- After analyzing each of Max Meyer’s pitches, Mason McRae of Prospects 365 finds him worthy of being drafted with the third overall pick. His below-average height shouldn’t be a significant issue, McRae explains.
- DraftKings Sportsbook has the Marlins as significant underdogs against the Phillies for Friday’s opener.
- South Florida resident and former Marlins infielder Plácido Polanco discusses his playing career and admiration for Derek Jeter on FrontPage305.
- MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand believes Jonathan Villar could be “an attractive rental” for other teams to trade for if the Marlins fade from postseason contention quickly. His MLB.com colleague Anthony Castrovince tabs Sixto Sánchez as the organization’s most indispensable player.
- It is Víctor Víctor Mesa’s 24th birthday, and he has the cake to prove it.