Miami Marlins Spring Training: Ranking the Top 5 Early Standouts
5 Early Standouts In Marlins Spring Training
Spring training is always a good time to see young players who you do not normally hear about working hard to make the final cut of a major-league roster. The Miami Marlins have some of those veterans on the spring training roster this year and it is going to be tough for second-year manager Mike Redmond to make some of these final cuts with some positions at a major stake.
It is also great to see some of the new players start to pick up where they left off last year. For one, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a home run in his fourth game of the spring as he will try to bring a winning pedigree to the Marlins to partner with big-time slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
Miami still has to address its bench, the final spot in the rotation and find some solid middle relievers to keep the team ahead in wins or to keep games close when it trails. There is still a lot to be done as spring training turns into the middle of March.
The Marlins will surely not become a 100-loss team this season. The lineup is too talented and the young pitching is starting to mature for the Marlins to lose that many games again. Miami could make a statement by finishing third or close to it in the National League East with its rivals not making too much progress in the offseason.
However, it all starts here and Redmond still has some tough decisions to make heading into the start of the 2014 season.
5. Matt Angle
There are always guys that perform very well in spring training but do not make the final roster. For Matt Angle, that is what could happen this season. He is 4-for-9 this spring with an RBI. It is going to be very hard for him to get a spot over guys like Brian Bogusevic and Reed Johnson. Keep an eye on him as well.
4. Kevin Slowey
In Kevin Slowey's first appearance of the season, he pitched two innings, struck out four and allowed only one hit giving him a ray of hope to make the Marlins' final spot in the rotation. Slowey was in and out of the rotation last season before losing it to Tom Koehler. A couple more good starts and he will lock it up.
3. Ed Lucas
The old saying goes, do not bet on a baseball player to do well from his stats in March or September. However, with third baseman Ed Lucas, his hot September has carried over into the next year. Lucas is 2-for-8 with a home run and two RBI. The only way he makes the roster is if he continues his hot start for the rest of the spring.
2. Chris Hatcher
Chris Hatcher is going to have a tough road to make the Marlins' bullpen. With the additions of Carlos Marmol and Carter Capps, Hatcher is going to have to fight his way back into a possible middle reliever role. So far this spring, Hatcher has yet to allow a run in three innings. He has let up one hit and one walk. He should be someone to keep an eye on as the middle of spring training draws near.
1. Reed Johnson
The Marlins outfield is as crowded as a New York City subway in the middle of rush hour, but Reed Johnson is really trying to get the backup job and is doing great so far in spring training. Johnson is leading the team in RBI and is 2-for-6 in two games for Miami.