Strong Start for Miami Has the Marlins off to the Races

Miami Marlins

The first win of any season is significant for any MLB team to kick off a season. While on the surface, the opening day win for the Miami Marlins may not seem like much, there’s a whole lot more to the story.

History Made

First off, the first win gives something the Miami Marlins haven’t had since 2009. That would be at least tied for first place in the NL East within July. It marks the first time since 2014 that Miami fans have seen their team kick off a season with a victory.

It also continued a solid (not great) run that the Marlins have had over the Philadelphia Phillies. Miami was 10-9 against the Phillies last season while 47-96 against all other teams within their schedule.

Through the era of the long ball, Miami’s start will be a solid boost with a lineup that has the potential to crash any party. Looking at statistics across Fangraphs.com and baseball-reference.com, the lineup could be made up of .275 hitters capable of 25 home runs. That’s if the full potential of each player is met.

Veterans Help Move the Needle 

Overall, the win marks a good progression for baseball in South Florida. Fans have been itching for a season of success for at least ten years. Miami is not projected to make the postseason. But they very well could be a dark horse team to compete for a spot.

It may just be the first of 60 games, but it did show quite a lot regardless. A big emphasis during the offseason was put on bringing in veteran bats to give a boost to the lineup. That was present in the opening day game and included Miami’s first home run of the season off the bat of Jesus Aguilar. This will be a team that will most likely go as their veteran stars do. Hitters like Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, and Aguilar himself will probably dictate how successful the team down in South Florida will be in the shortened 2020 season.

The unquestioned captain of the team, Miguel Rojas, started as strong as fans hoped he would. The Miami Marlins are using Rojas almost as a second leadoff batter. His good and steady contact has been a key component for the five-year star at times. The durability is perhaps one of his stronger aspects. The shortstop that Marlins fans saw in game one will be the same shortstop they will see in game 60.

A Youthful Trail 

Opening day also brought up a few thoughts about the hyped-up prospect base for Miami. A lot of the excitement still resides in the potential for Miami’s young stars but questions are rising about second basemen, Isan Diaz. Entering what would be his first “full” season, a lot of hype was placed on Diaz, after flashes of greatness seen in South Florida last season. On the other hand, contact and timing issues seemed to plague Diaz in his struggles last year. Those same issues seemed to rear their ugly heads in the 2020 opener. Diaz went hitless with the hat trick of strikeouts (three).

It will be interesting to see how short of a leash Diaz is on as skipper Don Mattingly can’t afford to have a week point in the lineup for too long. That is especially present when you think about the strong outfield prospects that keep knocking on the door.

There was also a little bit of chatter on the impending arrival of Sixto Sanchez to the major league ranks. Michael Hill was asked about the prospect and talked about the importance of developmental time with the loss of the minor league season. Hill noted injuries and trades will likely dictate when and how Sanchez will see major league playing time. It will happen, but fans all across the country will have to keep on playing the anxious waiting game.

The first game of the season may soon be forgotten in the minds of many. It might have marked the beginning of the potential corner turn for the Fish. Regardless of the abbreviated campaign, 2020 will be important in the growth of the Marlins and game one indicated a big step in the right direction for Derek Jeter and company.

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