Variety of pitching options in Marlins camp
JUPITER, Fla. — So many variables will weigh in how many pitchers the Marlins end up carrying.
Depending on how the Opening Day roster shapes up, the organization may opt to carry 13 pitchers and 12 position players. Or it could go with the more conventional, 12 pitchers and 13 position players.
Because Miami has so many young pitchers who haven’t logged a huge amount of MLB innings, the front office and staff may recommend going with another arm.
“We could,” manager Mike Redmond said. “That’s something that I think is way too early to talk about. How many pitchers we’re going to carry. We just have to see how it all plays out. This is just the second day. There are a lot of different scenarios that can happen between now and then.”
Obviously, there could be injuries, and performances will weigh heavily in the evaluation process.
Another possibility is carrying two long relievers because the rotation will be so young. If the starters aren’t working deep into games, it will tax the bullpen.
Getting in shape
All 38 pitchers in camp have so far thrown off the mound.
Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, who is getting aquainted with everyone on the roster, is viewing the first few days of camp as the time for pitchers to get warmed up for the grind that is about to follow.
“Basically, the first two or three bullpens, I just want them to get through them feeling healthy, and get their feet on the ground,” Hernandez said. “I don’t put too much stock in it, whether it is good, bad or different. As we start getting closer to game time, and we start doing some game-situations and splitting guys up and having one on one times with bullpens, that’s when it really starts to erupt.”
Right now, pitchers are lining up in a row of six mounds and throwing.
“I’ve never been too good at coaching six,” Hernandez said, meaning having six pitchers throwing at once. “And I don’t evaluate six at once well either. There are things that I look for and watch for, and you take your notes when you come in. We’ve got a few days to figure it out.”
Early batting practice
Redmond was pleased to see more than 20 position players already on the back fields, taking batting practice and doing basic fielding drills.
Giancarlo Stanton already is putting on a show, swatting a number of BP fastballs over the fence. Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco and Chris Coghlan were in Stanton’s group.
Redmond compared Stanton’s force with that of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen a ball jump off a bat like that since watching those guys play,” Redmond said. “He gets that extension and leverage that very few guys are able to do. That’s why everybody talks about him the way that they do. He’s one of those special guys.”
The Marlins will be back on the field at 10 a.m. on Thursday. The first full-squad workout is Friday.
– Joe Frisaro