This week, I have seen the emotional rollercoaster that Marlins fans are riding, but it’s always important to maintain the expectations that you had before the season. Every win in a 60-game season should be a celebration; every loss gives you a glimpse of the future. Regardless of the result, we are obtaining information on a daily basis that can allow you to see either the growth or regression of a player. The future of Marlins baseball is on this roster while others are just pieces to remain competitive right now. The youth is important, but Don Mattingly has been extremely adamant that this is not a time for development and the only way for you to get on the field is to contribute immediately.
The team exceeded expectations two weeks ago—there is no doubt about that. Recently, you saw what everyone expected: a battered team that lacks game-changing talent. The Marlins still, however, have a legitimate chance to recover first place in the NL East. Every team has struggled out the gate to create separation in the division and that has allowed a flawed Marlins squad to keep afloat until the reinforcements arrive. Well, it’s almost time for the key players to return and begin fielding a more competitive roster.
I don’t know if the Marlins will make the playoffs. I will say that every game over the next two weeks is going to shape their identity as either a contender or a pretender.
With that being said, let’s jump into the Marlins Mailbag.
Q: Silent Heat (@Purewater71) Is Edward Cabrera’s arm injury healed and is he throwing again?
A: “Healed” is a hard word for me to throw as an answer. It is now considered arm discomfort so it is fair to ask was it ever truly injured? The team is however concerned enough to introduce a throwing program (similar to Sixto Sánchez) for the remainder of the season. This doesn’t rule him out to pitch this year, but it definitely did not assist in his effort to get called up.
Q: Jacob Shendell (@Jacob2__) Any news on Alfaro’s progress in returning to play?
A: The biggest news we had was the release of catcher Wilkin Castillo signed to hold down the backstop in case of the loss of Francisco Cervelli or Ryan Lavarnaway. Jorge Alfaro is a warrior, but it can not be understated the importance of being in game shape as a catcher. A catcher is coming up, but I don’t know if it will be Alfaro or Wallach.
I expect if it’s Cervelli and Wallach together on the roster for any length of time, that would be a 70-30 platoon. If Jorge Alfaro is the first catcher up, he will eventually be taking a majority of starts behind the plate. Cervelli has performed well in 2020, but Alfaro gives the Marlins the best chance to win moving forward.
Q: Tony Tokyo (@Marlins1456) Whose the Marlins MVP so far?
It's still so early, but getting late quickly in this shortened season...Lowest single-season ERA by a qualified starter in Marlins history:— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 20, 2020
1. Kevin Brown, 1.89 (1996)
2. José Fernández, 2.19 (2013)
3. Josh Johnson, 2.30 (2010)
4. PABLO LÓPEZ, 2.42 (2020)#JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/7IDDYmSKkK
A: Pablo López. No doubt about it. He is a top 10 ERA leader in the MLB and the development of the cut fastball is what I think got him there. The changeup is elite, but if he lacks the other pitches opponents will begin to sit on it as they did in Wednesday night’s game. I won’t call him an ace, because I believe there are only about 10 in the league, but he is proving to be vital to the Marlins staying afloat this year.
Q: Devin Wade (@Bassmasterrrr4) Trade deadline in its entirety. Should they be buyers at the deadline? If so, who should they target? If selling who would be departing?
A: The Marlins are going to buy long-term talent that helps the team moving forward in the future. There won’t be an acquisition of an aging veteran for a young prospect in this front office. If they were to make any trades it would be similar to the Gallen-Chisholm trade which was just a transfer of talent from one position to another. Reminder it’s not that the team dismissed Gallen—it’s just they really needed a long-term shortstop and had an abundance of pitching. I would actually like to see an outfielder traded for a team-controlled second base, but I don’t believe the team is going to do that.
Q: Michael D (@mcd6986) With the team store closed, where is the best place in Miami to buy marlins gear?
A: New gear with updated logo, I’d say Fanatics. Quick delivery and I have never had an issue with them.
The true answer to this question is eBay, though. The vintage gear you can find on the website for an affordable cost can make a Marlins fan very happy. I have purchased a couple Florida Marlins jerseys on there for about $40 for the pair.
Q: (@GambeKenn) How is Victor Victor Mesa doing?
He really wants a call-up as he posted on his Instagram, “Always Ready”. He is not currently at the alternate site, but I do believe it would do him good to be there with what the team invested in him. I think he is the same player they scouted and I think that outside entities sold him as a greater player than what he currently is. He could develop it because I think he has a legitimate passion at being the best he can.
Contact Tyler (@KingOfBuffalo) on Twitter for a chance to be featured in future Marlins mailbags.