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Offishial news, 3/24/21: Roster prediction complications; 2021 HOF vote

It’s technically a Marlins off day, but Elieser Hernandez and company will host Houston Astros players in Jupiter for a game on the backfields Wednesday afternoon.

Will Josh Beckett clear our 70% threshold for Fish Stripes Marlins Hall of Fame induction?
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

Rule 5 ripple effects

It’s been 3 12 months since the Marlins acquired right-handers Paul Campbell (from the Rays) and Zach Pop (from the Diamondbacks by way of the Orioles) and I still don’t know what to make of them. Such is usually the case with Rule 5 draft selections, players whose original teams were not confident enough in their major league readiness to protect them on their 40-man rosters. But there are extra layers of uncertainty in the process this year following a canceled 2020 minor league season and without the benefit of a full-length spring training schedule.

Campbell has allowed three walks and two solo home runs in his five innings of exhibition game action but nothing else. He mainly worked as a starting pitcher in the Tampa Bay organization during 2018 and 2019. Pop possesses the kind of premium pure stuff that generates excitement despite a reliever-only profile. He has tossed four scoreless spring innings thanks to a fastball which combines mid-90s velocity and sharp vertical and horizontal movement.

The Marlins have a good problem on their hands because—knock on wood—all of their experienced major leaguers are injury-free entering the final Grapefruit League off day. While it appears probable that Campbell and especially Pop will remain with the Fish for Opening Day, their presences would force the club to either option more experienced players to the minors, place somebody on the IL with a “phantom injury” or explore trades.

Projecting the precise 26-man active roster under these circumstances is a thankless exercise, but Ethan Budowsky and I will attempt it anyway this coming Monday.

Voting now open!

Through Friday night (11:59 p.m. ET deadline), we are accepting fan ballots for the 2021 Fish Stripes Marlins Hall of Fame class. After inducting seven players last year, there are 21 of them eligible this time around. You can browse their Marlins career stats and accolades here before casting your vote.

Please share this link with others! We would like the voting body to be as large as possible, representing all cliques of the fanbase.

Walk-off links

Sports Illustrated