Projecting the Opening Day Roster: Position Players

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spots: 13, although it could be as much 14 depending on what Fredi Gonzalez will do while the 5th starter's spot is vacant1. He could use it to get an extra look at the candidates for the last position player or he might have an extra bullpen arm for the time being.

Guaranteed Starters (7)
John Baker (C)
Jorge Cantu (1B or 3B)
Dan Uggla (2B)
Hanley Ramirez (SS)
Jeremy Hermida (LF)
Cameron Maybin (CF)
Cody Ross (RF)

Guaranteed Reserve (1)
Wes Helms (1B and 3B)
Alfredo Amezaga (Everywhere, but he will open the season on the DL)

Brett Carroll: He is seeming more and more like a lock for the 4th outfield spot. We know his defense is his greatest attribute. He can play all three spots and has a great arm. He has also done much to help his cause at the plate this spring, going 12-27 with a healthy 1.146% OPS. I probably should have put him in the guaranteed reserve column but you are never really 100% sure.

Dallas MacPherson: He was seemingly a good bet to make the club, but an injury and subpar play have put his status in question. One thing in his favor is that he is out of options,2 but his high K-rate and low OBP don't exactly fit into the team's new offensive philosophy. At this point I think he is a complete toss-up.

Robert Andino: He is another player who is out of options, which gives him a better chance of making the club. He has also played some outfield and is trying to widen his role. But he too has struggled a bit this spring and remains a question mark. Amezaga being on the DL helps Robert and he will probably stick around in that role to start the season, but shouldn't get too comfortable.

Emilio Bonifacio: He has done a lot this spring. He will probably win the inaugural Marlins Die-Hards Spring Ironman Award for logging the most at-bats and innings during spring training. He's posted respectable numbers at the plate and is the kind of table setter the Marlins would like to have in their lineup. Plus the amount of time he's spent playing third base recently leads me to believe he may get some starts there.

Gaby Sanchez: I've mentioned him before and unfortunately a job that was his to win, I don't think he has won it. He hasn't looked great and has battled a slight knee injury. He still has about ten days though and can still prove to us why he was bearing some high expectations this offseason.

Mike Rabelo: I admittedly don't know much about the backup catching position. Both Rabelo and Brett Hayes have not gotten a lot of at bats. I assume Rabelo will probably win out based on seniority but who knows?

Brett Hayes: see above

I've listed seven players in this category. For the opening day roster it must be reduced to five or six. The first to go would obviously be one of the backup catchers, most likely Brett Hayes. If the organization wants the last roster spot to evaluate bullpen arms, then I think Gaby Sanchez will probably go to AAA and Dallas MacPherson will stick around for his shot (pending his health). This would give us the thirteen position players for the opening day roster. When Amezaga comes back from the disabled list the club will have a huge decision on whether to "DFA" a player like MacPherson or Robert Andino or send somebody with options (perhaps Emilio Bonifacio) to the minors. I have no guesses when it comes to that.

1 Fredi Gonzalez has stated that due to the early off days in the schedule, the club wont need a 5th starter until April 18th and that pitcher will not be activated until that date.

2 A player can only be outrighted to the minor leagues a certain number of times. When he is out of "options" then he must be designated for assignment, meaning he is put on waivers and if no claim is made then becomes a free agent.


David March 25, 2009 at 2:44 PM  

I would like to see Carroll on the team for his late-innings defense. I bet Bonifacio will make the club since the team traded for him - they want to give him an opportunity to prove he was worth it. That leaves room for Rabelo, Andino, and either McPherson or Sanchez. I think Sanchez loses out since he has options... but Amezega's injury only delays the inevitability of Andino's DFA - if he is at best a poor man's Amezega, why keep him around? Bummer for the Killian grad...

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