Before the team’s final game of the homestand, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng spoke with the media and gave her thoughts about the first few weeks of the season, injury updates, and the team’s young talent.
GM Ng on the first few weeks of the season
The Marlins got off to a rough start, dropping six of their first seven games before the bats got going and the bullpen arms settled down. Ng acknowledged the slow start saying, “As a team, I don’t think we’ve fired on all cylinders.” However, she did acknowledge the glimpses we’ve all seen from this team and said that “we are moving towards everybody finding their way.”
She noted that a strength of this Marlins team is not going to be to mash home runs. The team has the second-fewest home runs in the National League with 11, above only the New York Mets. However, one thing the Marlins will do is battle to win games. We’ve seen that through the team’s first three weeks of the 2021 season. Six of the Marlins’ eight wins so far have been by three runs or fewer.
There has also been a lot of talk around the league that the NL East is the best division in baseball, which Ng said she agrees with. However, her assessment of the division is a little different from some of the other voices around the game:
“I’m not sure that there is going to be a clear, runaway winner [of this division]. The quality of the entire division, from top to bottom, is very good and I think that means that we’re all going to beat up on each other all year long.”
The team has been hit by a few injuries as of late, with Starling Marte and Jorge Alfaro heading to the 10-day IL. Lewis Brinson replaced Marte and Sandy Leon came up in Alfaro’s spot. GM Ng reiterated that Marte has a non-displaced fracture in his rib and will be reassessed in the next week or so. Regarding the Marlins catching situation, she said she believes that León is a great addition and brings a lot of good experience to the group.
Ng reported that Sixto Sanchez, who is on the injured list with shoulder inflammation, has been throwing at the alternate training site, but still has a ways to go before returning to the mound this season. The team also anticipates that pitcher Elieser Hernandez, who left his first start early with a bicep injury, will throw a bullpen session next week and continue to progress toward rejoining the club.
Following Wednesday’s win, manager Don Mattingly said Brian Anderson (side) and Garrett Cooper (groin) are “a little nicked up,” but not expected to require IL stints.
Marlins’ young talent
With COVID-19 shortening the Major League Baseball season and canceling the Minor League Baseball season, GM Ng said that everyone is excited to get back on the field again. She anticipates “good baseball and a lot of great energy.”
One thing she touched upon Tuesday afternoon was a common thread she noticed when preparing to interview with the Marlins for the GM position. She said that the prospects that the team had acquired via trades are very athletic. The team wants to “get great athletes into the system.”
Ng noted that Jazz Chisholm Jr. is one of those players:
“It’s been really exciting for the folks that have been here for the last several years and even more exciting to see guys like Jazz come up to the big leagues and have this type of success early on.”