Notes: Kintzler brings vet boost; Banfield to IL

July 8th, 2020

MIAMI -- As part of a mostly inexperienced bullpen, Marlins right-hander is a veteran presence, as well as the front-runner to close.

The 35-year-old has 49 career big league saves and is accustomed to pitching in high-leverage situations. Kintzler has playoff experience from the Nationals in 2017, when he appeared in three games and logged 3 1/3 innings.

The Marlins are preparing to start their 60-game season on July 24 at the Phillies, and the organization is preaching how it will be a two-month playoff environment.

“It’s exciting,” Kintzler said Wednesday on a Zoom call. “It keeps you motivated every day to show up to the field, knowing that you are in a race. The last couple of years I’ve been in some races. Usually, by September, if you’re not in it, you’re just over it.”

The Marlins signed Kintzler as a free agent for $3 million in early February, and he is already feeding off the youthful enthusiasm of Miami’s relievers.

“These young guys are already excited to be in the big leagues,” Kintzler said. “Although we are not going to have fans [in the stands], we know that these games mean a lot. Every day, for two months, you are in a sprint. It is great for me. It is actually really good for the older guys. We’re excited to be in a race like that.”

, who was a starter in the Nationals’ system, is now being looked at as a reliever in Miami. He has been seeking Kintzler’s advice on how to prepare for the pending grind of 60 games in 66 days.

“These guys sometimes throw way too much every day.” Kintzler said. “They need to learn that they need to be available every day. Just get a feel for your arm and shut it down. We’ve got three weeks, so hopefully they can figure out how to be a bullpen guy in the big leagues.”

Banfield to IL
The Marlins have made their first roster move since Summer Camp opened on July 1. Catching prospect Will Banfield was placed on the 10-day injured list, with the transaction backdated to Monday. The club did not specify the injury.

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami’s No. 25 prospect, Banfield has been working out at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. That’s where many of the club’s top prospects have been training during Summer Camp.

MLB has instituted a COVID-19 list this season, although the league will not announce which players are placed on it due to privacy laws regarding individuals’ health. Players may address their status if they wish, though they are not required to. Players do not need to test positive to be placed on the COVID-19 list. Potential exposure to a person who has the virus can be sufficient cause.

Scrimmage set for Thursday
The Marlins will begin simulating game situations on Thursday at Marlins Park. In the first few days of Summer Camp, practices have been tune-ups, broken into morning and afternoon sessions.

“It will look a little more like a scrimmage,” said manager Don Mattingly. “It won’t be full teams on the field. You might have infielders out there, with some baserunners. The next inning, you might have some outfielders out there.”

Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith are scheduled to face batters and simulate throwing five innings during the controlled scrimmage.

“We still want to keep the reps up,” Mattingly said.