Forget about this season. Just forget it. It has been painful rooting for a team which fails to score more than 3 runs in any given game. Hopefully, we can get to see the youngsters playing regularly for the rest of this season, though I believe Mattingly will sink his boat keeping the Aguilars, Solers, Garcías, Rojas, Stallings and Co. drilled to the stubbornness of his mind while writing every day's lineup.
And even knowing back in April that this season would be tough to make the playoffs, and also taking into account the insane amount of injuries the roster has suffered throughout the year, there is a reverberating discomfort among us, the smallest fanbase in American Professional Sports. That agitation touched a year-low yesterday when we hoped for a change, any change... and almost nothing happened. With all due respect to Groshans, he won't factor the Marlins this year and probably neither next.
Why even bother? It will take a miracle to make the post-season this year, and that miracle already happened in 2020. I do not think we are that lucky, nobody is. Even less having those old dinosaurs as Managers.
So here I am, losing some dandruff doing a thing I like very much: pretending to be a GM. I tried to balance between the impossibility to get rid of those albatross contracts and the fact that this team needs to give playing time to the farm. Here is with what I ended up:
Starters (5): Alcántara, López, Luzardo, Cabrera and Garrett.
Trevor Rogers needs to find his groove back, but nevertheless should be on the mix for a rotation spot in Spring Training.
Bullpen (8): Scott, Okert, Floro, Bender, Bleier, Poteet, Sulser and, if healthy, Sixto Sánchez.
I would trade away Floro and Bleier for the likes of Rogers and a last spot to be decided in Spring Training. I would try Sixto or Rogers as closers, but Bender has to be the frontrunner.
Catchers (2): Fortes and Henry
I would definitely trade Stallings to give Peyton Henry or Santiago Chávez a chance to back-up. To be decided in ST.
Infielders (6): Jazz, Cooper, Berti, Rojas, LeBlanc and Lewin Díaz
Here is when it starts to get tricky, because Rojas can be a valuable defensive replacement/RH batter from the bench, also, he is signed for another season, not to mention that he is the only true SS in the roster. I also believe Brian Anderson is valuable, given is above average OBP.
Only two out of the quartet Cooper-Berti-Wendle-Anderson can stay, and I chose Berti and Cooper. Berti because he is the only true leadoff hitter we have. Cooper because he has been the most consistent one; but at the end only depends on the prospect package I get in return. This decision is also influenced by how LeBlanc performs the rest of the season.
Outfielders (5): Soler, García, Bleday, Jesús Sánchez and Jerar Encarnación.
This one is also tricky. Nobody would want to trade for Soler nor García, so we gotta live with them. Only one of them will play in the field, if any, preferably Soler in LF. Center will be shared between Bleday, Sánchez and Berti. The right side will sport Encarnación, Sánchez and García. If Cooper gets traded, Jerar will have games playing 1B. Brian DLC needs to work in the minors, and Burdick must be included in the 40-man roster. Speaking of which, here are the other 14:
Pitchers: Rogers, Neidert, Castano, Hernández, Brazobán, Nance, Holloway plus someone between Brigham, Fishman, Nardi and Soriano.
Players: Chávez/McIntosh, Williams, DLC, Groshans, Conine and Burdick.
There are some Rule 5 players coming by the end of the season, but I am not sure which ones. That can also influence some positions and spots, but this or close to this must be the main base.
A frequent lineup would be:
1. Berti 3B
2. Jazz 2B
3. Cooper DH
4. Díaz 1B
5. Encarnación RF
6. Bleday CF
7. Soler LF
8. Fortes C
9. Rojas SS
Bench: García, Sánchez, Henry and LeBlanc