Miami Marlins – A shortened quest for glory (maybe)

So finally we are here. Opening Day (maybe) in July. After months of negotiations between the MLB owners and the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Player Association), negotiations which seemed to be like the never-ending war, had its conclusion.

We are having (maybe) a 60-game race to glory. There is a saying that a regular season in baseball, in its beautiful 162-game version, is a marathon. Nobody wins it in May, and as the Nationals proved, it isn’t lost before June either. It goes through the dog days of summer all the way to the darkness of autumn before legends are made in October. Now it’s the 110 metre hurdles with each one of the hurdles representing the deadly virus. Worth the risks? Doesn’t feel like it; remains to be seen. Excited that baseball is (maybe) back? Oh yes, sir.

Now let’s dive into the Miami Marlins part of this whole madness.


Marlins currently has a full 60 player pool with some really interesting and surprising names on it. As of now, nobody on the current roster has opted out of playing this season. It was reported that four players were tested positive for COVID-19 but no names were released.

On the pitching side, all of the top prospect arms are included: Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Jorge Guzman. Also, the 2020 draft’s fourth overall pick, Max Meyer, is included. Sixto probably has the best shot to slide into the starting rotation later in the season. As of Cabrera and Guzman, their chances are probably getting some work in relief, although with this current situation, anything is possible. A call-up to the active roster might come sooner than later, and guys need to be ready.

It remains to be seen how starting pitching and the bullpen is used. Sandy Alcantara is set to be the Opening Day starter versus the Philadelphia Phillies on 24 July. The Dominican Republic born pitcher has climbed up the ladder to be the ace of this franchise since the trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017. Looking forward to lot of “Sandy days” in the future.

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On the positional side there are some surprising names. Are you in the need for a feel-good story? Meet Eddy Alvarez. The 30-year old rookie infielder and Miami’s hometown boy who is close to finally playing in the Majors. Eddy isn’t just a regular Joe from Miami who has battled years in the Minors to finally have a cup of coffee in the big leagues; Eddy has also won an Olympic Medal in speed skating. Eddy the Jet played baseball through college but gave it up to pursue his dream of participating in the Olympic Games. After battling through some serious knee injuries and brutal rehabs, Alvarez finally fulfilled his dream in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi where he won the silver medal in the 5000m relay. After retiring from speed skating, he signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox in 2014 and was traded to the Miami Marlins in 2019. He has a slash line .278/.375/.413 in the Minors. I’m rooting for Eddy to get his chance in the Majors. Such a story of not giving up on your dreams is what we all need in the middle of this madness.

Monte Harrison has taken every chance given and during this Spring Training 2.0 as he has flashed and manager Don Mattingly has been praising his young centre fielder. Remains to be seen if he will rise all the way to the Opening Day lineup but it is looking promising for him to at least make the first cut and have his name in the first 30 man roster. Future of the Miami Marlins might be here sooner than we thought.

Don Mattingly has also surprised fans by saying that power-hitting first baseman prospect, Lewin Diaz, might make it to the 30-man roster to fill the need for a left-handed batter. Diaz was a part of the deal that sent veteran reliever Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins last year. The 23-year old has a lot raw power in his bat, so it would be fun to see him unleash that during these difficult times.

Finally we have (maybe) a chance to see Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, and Jesus Aguilar in Marlins uniform, and thanks to the rule change they may have a different part in the lineup than was first thought. Part of the deal to get the season going was having a DH in the National League. This will be interesting to see how NL teams adjust to the new game strategy when there are not any pitchers batting. No more sacrifice bunts, though.

The Marlins 2020 season schedule is brutal to say the least. To complete a 60-game schedule, the National League East teams will play 40 games against their division rivals and 20 interleague games against the American League East division. This means Marlins will have a chance to take down teams like Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays and Orioles. That should really be just a walk in the park. 


This whole idea of playing the season feels weird, but it is what it is. I trust the teams to take it very seriously. I have a mixed feelings about playing the season when you look at the current state of the pandemic in the United States, it almost feel surreal that they are trying pull this off. I respect every player who decides to not play this season. 

If the season gets going on, it will be a sprint. You might lose it in the first month and have a chance to win it in the second. We may see some interesting prospects entering The Show sooner than planned. Just let the kids play and be safe.

So Miami Marlins, why not us? Just sweep the Yankees and Red Sox. And the Rays. Oh and the Braves, please. Sweep the Braves.

Tomi Korkeamaki is covering the Miami Marlins during 2020 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @TKorkeamaki

Make sure you subscribe to the Bat Flips and Nerds podcasts and follow us on Twitter @BatFlips_Nerds. News, views and interviews, all with a British twist.

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