What we’ve learned so far from Marlins spring training camp.
Spring training notes
Some key takeaways from Don Mattingly’s media availability so far:
- Jorge Alfaro will get the lion’s share of playing time at catcher to begin the season despite riding the bench last October.
- Ross Detwiler is only being viewed as a bullpen contributor (Detwiler has more career MLB starts than any other pitcher in camp).
- The Marlins’ first three Grapefruit League games—Feb. 28, Mar. 1 and Mar. 2—will be shortened to seven innings.
- Mattingly is open to managing beyond his current contract (which contains a 2022 club option).
- He hasn’t received the COVID-19 vaccine yet but is eager to get it.
Elieser Hernandez says he wants to put more trust in his changeup to help him navigate the second and third time through opposing lineups. John Curtiss thinks his delivery can be even more repeatable than it was with the Rays last season, and he also hints at pitch mix changes.
The Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson reports that three Marlins pitchers and catchers haven’t been able to participate in team activities yet. One has tested positive for COVID-19 test and the other two are sidelined “due to contact tracing or other parameters in the league’s protocols.” I’ve confirmed that all the catchers on the spring training roster have taken the field; these are the only unconfirmed pitchers: Jake Fishman, Alexander Guillen, Zack King, Shawn Morimando, Josh Roberson and Will Stewart.
Non-catching position players who have showed up early to take swings in live batting practice include Lewis Brinson, Garrett Cooper, Isan Díaz, Corey Dickerson and Miguel Rojas. The first full-squad workout will be on Tuesday, which is also the first day that media will be allowed to attend in person.
In the meantime, Marlins team photographer Joseph Guzy has done his best to make us all feel like we’re in Jupiter. Check out his work below.
- The Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium 2020 season ticket holders have gobbled up some of the seats for Marlins spring training games. Whatever’s left will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET.
- Adam Duvall’s first Marlins interview was with Swings and Mishes. He shares how he spent the offseason attempting to lower his launch angle and training his eye at the plate in hopes of becoming a “better overall hitter.”
- Harold Ramirez remains in limbo after being designated for assignment. His status must be resolved by Wednesday. Former Marlin Robert Dugger was recently DFA’d too—a little extra rotation depth wouldn’t hurt, but there’s no room for him on the Miami roster unless somebody gets transferred to the injured list.
- Two months after announcing his retirement from the Marlins beat, Joe Frisaro has a new endeavor: “Man On Second Baseball.” Among the website’s first stories is this interview with former Fish bench coach Tim Wallach, going behind the scenes of how spring training workouts are coordinated.
- With Edward Cabrera officially removed from the competition, Locked On Marlins discusses the fifth starter competition between Trevor Rogers , Nick Neidert and Daniel Castano.
- Louis Addeo-Weiss explains why there shouldn’t be any question about who takes the mound on Opening Day: Sandy Alcantara.
- ZiPS projections LOVE Rogers long term, valuing him as MLB’s No. 22 overall prospect (he ranked No. 104 overall on FanGraphs’ more conventional, scouting-based top prospects list). ZiPS also feels Sixto Sánchez is being underrated and that Max Meyer is somewhat overrated.
- MLB Pipeline will be watching Meyer very closely this spring. So will I!
- The Marlins became the first major league team to partner with Lysol, prioritizing “strong hygiene and disinfection practices” at Marlins Park heading into the 2021 season.
- If you haven’t already, donate to the Drum Major Institute to support social justice and be entered to win Marlins game tickets and Monte Harrison game-used batting gloves.
- Get caught up on our 2021 Marlins Season Preview and All-Time Marlins Countdown.
- On Monday afternoon, Fish Stripes will be collaborating with fellow Marlins podcasts Swimming Upstream and Fish Across The Pond on a lengthy episode (to be posted Tuesday morning). Leave a comment if there are any particular topics you’d like for us to discuss!