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Our Noticias, 8/14/20: Home opener preview; roster makeover process; new podcasts

The Marlins begin a stretch of 48 games in 45 days, most of which are supposed to take place in Miami.

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Miami Marlins Summer Workouts Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Home opener preview

For the first time in nearly 11 months, Marlins Park will host a real major league game on Friday night. The 8-4 division-leading Fish finally return home for the first of three contests against the second-place Braves (11-9).

Probable starters: RHP Kyle Wright (6.75 ERA, 5.92 FIP in 12.0 IP) and RHP Pablo López (1.80 ERA, 2.08 FIP in 10.0 IP)

Notable absences: For the Braves, Ozzie Albies (right wrist), Matt Adams (left hamstring) and Mike Soroka (right achilles) were placed on the injured list earlier this month. Ronald Acuña Jr. (left wrist) is on the active roster but expect to sit out the entire weekend. Encouraging news about right-hander Sandy Alcantara from Fish Stripes’ own Hector Rodriguez. However, don’t expect him or any of the other 17 Marlins players affected by the Philly COVID-19 outbreak to be activated yet. Also, right-hander Mike Morin suffered an elbow injury on Wednesday that will land him on the IL (Jorge Guzman and Humberto Mejía are leading candidates to be recalled as the corresponding move).

The Marlins are rewarding new business partners Monkey Knife Fight and Solis Heath Plans with signage in right field. Allegedly, if a Marlins player hits the MKF sign in the second deck, the company will donate $10,000 towards COVID relief efforts.

Joseph Guzy/Marlins

Joana Martinez is singing the pregame national anthem. South Florida frontline workers have been selected to throw out the virtual ceremonial first pitch.

I joined Alex Contreras on the Marlins Barbecue podcast show to discuss many of the standout individual performances that have made this hot start possible. Alex will be credentialed for the home opener, so follow him for updates.

Inside the roster makeover

Although a week off from competition felt like an eternity to fans and those quarantining in the club’s hotel, it was a chaotic time inside the Marlins front office. For six straight days, they learned of new players inside the traveling party who tested positive for the virus, all of whom needed to be replaced. Marc Carig of The Athletic spoke with director of pro scouting Hadi Raad and baseball operations special assistant Adrian Lorenzo about how they pulled it off (subscription required).

From Raad:

“The hardest part was the unknown. You’re working on limited information. Spring Training 2.0 was almost like a secret site where no one can watch these players. A lot of these guys were DFA’d and you hadn’t had a scout lay eyes on them for months since spring training. So you’re relying on pro scouting reports that are three or four months old.”

Late-night trade

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

While I was sleeping, the Marlins announced the acquisition of right-hander Jesús Tinoco. They sent minor league RHP Chad Smith to the Rockies to complete the trade.

The 25-year-old Tinoco pitched 36 innings out of bullpen last season, relying mostly on his fastball/slider combo. He posted a respectable 4.75 ERA but an awful 7.91 FIP that takes his sky-high home run rate into consideration.

Tinoco is on the 40-man roster, but has been optioned to the alternate training site in Jupiter.

Fish fans from afar

The Marlins bandwagon is rapidly filling up, but the Fish Army Twitter account was curious to hear from fans who have endured throughout the dark times. Specifically, fans who don’t even live in Florida.

Just a few of their responses are embedded below:

Walk-off links

  • A chest protector worn by former MLB catcher turned U.S. World War II spy Moe Berg is now on display at the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. Ryan Lavarnway presents it in this video.
Museum of the Jewish People