The Marlins are at the toughest position in baseball as they are the only team in major sports and in the MLB that has had a Covid outbreak. The Marlins who started off their season 2-1 may not resume at that pace. With at least 15 players on the Marlins testing positive, we don't even know if the Marlins will have their starters back when the season resumes. Here are some players to look out for when the Marlins resume, assuming most starters have Covid on the Marlins.
Jorge Alfaro- Alfaro, who is the Marlins starting catcher, hasn't played a game this season as he tested positive for the coronavirus a few hours before Opening Day. Since he was the first Marlins player to test positive, hopefully he recovers before the Marlins resume their season.
Miguel Rojas- During the first 3 games that the Marlins played, Marlins starting shortstop Miguel Rojas was arguably the best player in the NL East. Obviously this won't be true anymore, with Rojas testing positive for Covid. During the 3 games, Rojas led the NL with a 700 batting average, .750 OBP, 1.300 slugging percentage, 2.050 OPS and 476 OPS plus.
Sandy Alcantara- The Marlins lone All Star and ace, Sandy Alcantara has tested positive for the coronavirus. This is a big loss as Alcantara is the Marlins best, most consistent and trusted pitcher.
Garett Cooper- Cooper is the Marlins starting DH, and first baseman.
Harold Ramirez- Harold is the Marlins starting left fielder as well as their cleanup hitter.
Jose Urena- Urena is the Marlins 3rd pitcher in the starting rotation.
Monte Harrison- Monte Harrison who is one of the most powerful home run hitters in the minor leagues, has been waiting for his MLB debut for a long time. He was close to doing it this year as he just missed making the Marlins Opening Day Roster. Harrison will probably be called up for the Marlins when the season resumes. Even though Harrison hasn't played in the Majors before, we can expect him to be towards the Marlins top of the lineup, assuming most Marlins starters will still have Covid when the team resumes playing. Harrison can make an instant impact in the Majors with his strength and power.
Lewis Brinson- Lewis Brinson has been one of the Marlins busts these past few years, ever since acquiring him in the Yelich trade, but it is not too late for him to have a comeback year as he will definitely get playing time due to the Marlins outbreak. During the shortened Spring Training, Lewis Brinson impressed as he had the most home runs out of a Marlins player and also cut down on strikeouts. Brinson was very close to making the Marlins Opening Day Roster until he was placed on the IL. The reason was believed to be Covid, but it was never officially announced. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, "Brinson is close to returning". The Marlins are definitely going to have to take a chance and call him up, with the shortage of players due to the Marlins outbreak.
Matt Joyce- Former All Star Matt Joyce was acquired by the Marlins this offseason. Like Lewis Brinson, Matt Joyce was placed on the IL for what was expected to be Covid, but the reason was never released. If Joyce had not been placed on the IL, he would have definitely made the Marlins Opening Day Roster. There were even talks about him being the Marlins starting right fielder and DH this season. Joyce will be one of the top players during the Marlins restart as he will be one of the few starters still in the lineup. Obviously he hasn't started this year, but we can still call him a starter because if he didn't get placed on the IL, he would have probably been one of the Marlins starters. Joyce is expected to be fully healthy, and will be heavily relied on during the Marlins restart due to the Marlins outbreak.
Jordan Yamamoto- The Marlins are lucky to have a pretty good pitcher available for when the Marlins resume play. Not being part of the Marlins starting rotation to start the season was a surprise to many people. He was beat out by Elieser Hernandez for the 5th spot in the rotation, in a surprise race. Yamamoto made his MLB debut last year and finished with a 4-5 record. Lets not pay attention to the losing record, but lets pay attention to his first 4 starts. Yamamoto started off his MLB career with 4 straight wins in 4 straight starts. In his first 2 games which both happened to be against the Cardinals, Yamamoto pitched 7 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits in one game, and 3 hits in the other. Yamamoto can possibly be the Marlins ace when the Marlins return, depending on which Marlins pitchers have the coronavirus. On the positive side of Yamamoto not making the Marlins starting rotation, the Marlins have Yamamoto ready for when the Marlins resume play!
Isaac Edelman covers the South Florida sports teams and the Mets as well as other breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
Logan Forsythe- The 33-year-old Forsythe, was released by the Phillies near the end of Summer Camp and has now signed with the Marlins. Prior to being released by the Phillies, he spent much of the previous decade as a versatile, near-league-average bat (.246/.327/.370, 94 wRC+, 70 HR in 958 career games). Forsythe was at his best with the Rays from 2014-2016—that stint included a 2015 campaign where he produced 4.1 fWAR. Forsythe can be useful as he can play multiple positions for the Marlins. Forsythe has played third base (979 innings), first base (496), shortstop (220) and in the outfield corners (99).
Pat Venditte, Mike Morin, Josh D. Smith, and Justin Shafer- The Marlins have already claimed relievers Pat Venditte, Mike Morin, Josh D. Smith, and Justin Shafer off waivers. Venditte is one of the only switch pitchers in MLB history and was with the Marlins during Spring Training. The Marlins released him but now brought him back on a minor league deal.
OF Yasiel Puig
Puig has been linked to the Marlins before. They made a contract offer to him over the winter, but he wasn’t happy with the financial terms. Then, in mid-April, he reiterated to Jorge Ebro that he’d like to play in Miami because he’d be playing in front of his Cuban countrymen. The Cuban right fielder—who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and couldn’t join the Braves—must be eager to play again in the big leagues. And despite the crowded outfield that the Marlins had before the coronavirus outbreak, they now have an obvious opening for the “Wild Horse.” If you’re wondering what it takes to sign Puig, the financial terms of the Braves’ offer are unknown, but it was just a one-year deal. He could represent a safe bet for the Marlins if they’re comfortable spending more than the league’s minimum salary. Anyway, the Marlins may spend a lot on him because they will probably be desperate for major league players when the Marlins resume play.
C Russel Martin
Imagine that the Marlins hand a deal to a catcher that has been behind the plate for stars like Mark Buehler, David Price, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, Clayton Kershaw, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, and even Greg Maddux. Also a catcher that has been a 4 time All Star, and a 1 time Silver Slugger and Gold Glover! Well, that’s Russell Martin, who’s still unemployed at 37 years old and after 14 MLB seasons. Jorge Alfaro is currently on the injured list without a timetable to get back. That’s why the Fish—who are carrying catchers Francisco Cervelli and Chad Wallach (pending the reveal of their other infected players)—could take a flier on Martin. By the way, he was Cervelli’s teammate where they both played for the Yankees.
INF Scooter Gennett
Even though the Marlins activated veteran Sean Rodríguez, it would bee nice to see Scooter Gennett wearing their colors. This guy hit 52 doubles, 50 home runs, and drove in 189 runs between 2017 and 2018. That is some high upside, and he’d probably come on a minors deal after playing in only 42 games last year and slashing .226/.245/.323. Gennett makes sense for the Fish, especially when shortstop Miguel Rojas is among the infected with coronavirus, so bringing in an experienced infielder could help the team in the long run. You guys may even remember Scooter, the guy who hit 4 home runs in a game! Gennett was also an All Star in 2018.
SPs Andrew Cashner, Jason Vargas, or Aaron Sánchez
A guy named Aaron Sanchez who was the AL ERA leader in 2016, and a guy who pitched a combined no hitter last year on the Astros, is still available in free agency! The Marlins will definitely need a pitcher, so why not get Sanchez who is 28 years old. Sanchez fell off the radar after 2016 due to injuries. If fully recovered from his right shoulder surgery, he can be given a chance to see if he can rebound. If you want to pass on Sanchez, head over to Jason Vargas, who was an All Star in 2016. Last year, Vargas was on the Mets and Phillies. On the Mets, Vargas had a 6-5 record, but had a high ERA of 4.01. A low ERA has been hard to attain for Jason Vargas these last few years, but why not sign him to be part of the Marlins rotation. Andrew Cashner is another name out there. Regarding Cashner, he was acceptable last year for the Orioles before being traded to the Red Sox, where he really disappointed (6.20 ERA, 1.62 WHIP). You can see inconsistency by taking a look at his track record, but he’s only 33 and has a couple of good years behind him. He also has prior experience pitching for the Marlins, back in 2016.
As of now, the Marlins won't play a game until at least Monday. We do not know what players will be able to play when the Marlins resume, but all we can hope for is for the Marlins players to recover quickly. The Marlins would even be lucky if some key and crucial starters test negative for the coronavirus from the start. Whether the Marlins have a few starters healthy for when they resume play, the Marlins will still need to look for some free agents to sign!