Predicting The Miami Marlins’ 2014 Opening Day Lineup
Miami Marlins' 2014 Opening Day Lineup
The Miami Marlins will open up the season on March 31 at Marlins Park against the Colorado Rockies. It will be a completely new season for a team that recorded 100 losses and was one of the worst teams in the majors last season. However, Miami made some big moves, which could have significant impact for the season.
The Marlins took it upon themselves to upgrade the lineup a little bit adding, Jarrod Saltalmacchia, who is coming off a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox, Rafael Furcal, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, and Casey McGehee, who tore the cover off the ball with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in his only season in Japan. If all the pieces fall, Miami could be a sleeper in the National League East.
The pitching rotation stayed stagnant because Miami has a lot of young starters making up the rotation. Jose Fernandez will lead it again, obviously looking to continue his success that he had last season. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year will more than likely get the nod for the Marlins against the Rockies.
The bullpen is looking a little bit better as well. Miami signed Carlos Marmol and traded for Carter Capps reassuring the latter part of each game. If Steve Cishek can continue his dominance in the 'pen, Miami will be looking even better.
In Mike Redmond’s second season as manager, Miami can only get better. The team will not lose 100 games for the second straight year.
9. Jose Fernandez
Rounding out the lineup will be Jose Fernandez. He will look to continue his immediate success against the Rockies. Miami has the best shot of winning games with him on the mound.
8. Adeiny Hechavarria
This is the year that Adeiny Hechavarria will have to prove his worth. There are guys in the lower levels that will be gunning for his position if he does not perform. Hechavarria will bring it under the pressure and it starts with the first game of the season.
7. Casey McGehee
Coming off a monster season in Japan, it is going to take awhile before Casey McGehee can get reacquainted with major-league pitching. However, he is really the only viable third baseman Miami has to offer for the starting spot.
6. Marcell Ozuna
Coming back from a thumb injury, Marcell Ozuna will be ready to continue where he left off. I am expecting big things from him this year. If it wasn't for his thumb injury, Ozuna could have made a case for Rookie of the Year as well.
5. Jeff Baker
Since the Marlins will face the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day and it is projected that Jorge De La Rosa will pitch against the team, the Marlins will more than likely start Jeff Baker over Garrett Jones. Redmond is expected to platoon at first base between the two and if De La Rosa starts, Baker will be at first come March.
4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Bringing in Jarrod Saltalamacchia was one of the best moves the Marlins made over the offseason. Coming off a World Series championship and living back in his hometown should do wonders for him. I predict that he will bat fourth, although he is not very good for his career batting at this slot.
3. Giancarlo Stanton
Injuries plagued Giancarlo Stanton last year. This year, he will not only bounce back, but he will perform possibly at a higher level than ever, with some protection around him in the lineup. Adding Yelich and Jarrod Saltalamacchia around him should help a lot.
2. Christian Yelich
It will be the youngster's first full season with the Marlins and he will get a start in left field. Christian Yelich is going to thrive in the No. 2 slot in Mike Redmond's lineup.
1. Rafael Furcal
Rafael Furcal will be given another chance in the majors. Barring an injury, Furcal will bat in the first spot of the Marlins' batting order. He needs to be able to tap into his old self and get on base for the team to have success.