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Yuli Gurriel “should be” on Marlins Opening Day roster

The veteran first baseman is poised to get the final spot on Miami’s 26-man active roster, per general manager Kim Ng.

Miami Marlins designated hitter Yuli Gurriel (97) talks with Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Iglesias (13) before the game against the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Yuli Gurriel has made the Miami Marlins 26-man Opening Day roster, according to Marlins general manager Kim Ng. On the Marlins radio broadcast during Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals, Ng said Gurriel “should be” on the roster when the Marlins begin their regular season against the New York Mets on Thursday. Ng added that shortstop José Iglesias would not make the initial major league roster, but that he would remain with the organization.

Both players were originally signed to MiLB non-roster deals midway through spring training with clauses allowing them to opt out this past Saturday if their contracts weren’t selected to the big league club. Although Iglesias is sticking around for now, he can also opt out on May 1 or June 1 if his opportunity doesn’t arrive by then. Iglesias finished 3-for-15 at the plate in Grapefruit League games.

On Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals—Gurriel’s last game before the announcement—Gurriel went 2-for-3 with a couple of solid defensive plays. Gurriel began the spring 1-for-13, but went 4-for-9 with a double and RBI since March 21. It was also Gurriel’s third consecutive game recording a hit, going 2-for-3.

“It feels like he’s locked in,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said after Saturday’s game. “In the first couple of games, he kind of cut off his swing a little bit towards the right field. And then you could see that the timing was just getting a little bit better and better and better. And now It’s barrel to the ball and pullside doubles. And that’s who he is.”

Gurriel had a 105 OPS+ against left-handed pitchers last season, compared to a paltry 68 OPS+ for the Marlins as a whole. He turns 39 on June 9.

Courtesy of Roster Resource, here are all 26 expected members of the Marlins Opening Day roster and their likely roles:

Roster Resource