Notes: Jazz bunts vs. Max; BA plays left; Elieser K's 3

March 21st, 2022

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. showcased a more developed part of his game during Monday afternoon's 3-0 Grapefruit League win over the Mets at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Leading off against Max Scherzer, Chisholm laid a bunt down the third-base line for a base hit. Chisholm, who recorded just two bunt hits in 2021, also stole 23 bases last season. He wasted no time in swiping second on Monday, then came around to score on Avisaíl García's two-out single.

"I like it," manager Don Mattingly said. "Get him on base. You may not want him to do it all the time, because he's got the power and can get you a quick run. But there's times -- tough lefties, different situations, guys like Max, you're not going to go out and get a bunch of runs. But if you can get him on and put some pressure on him, get a bag and get the early run, and it was kind of holding up the whole day."

Chisholm has been working this spring with Juan Pierre, whom Chisholm called the "best bunter this game has ever seen." The Marlins legend amassed 201 career bunt hits across 14 big league seasons. Putting more of an emphasis on this element will help Chisholm, whose sprint speed (29.1 feet per second) ranked in the 94th percentile in 2021.

"[Pierre said] just to stay calm and don't run before I put the ball down, just knowing that I'm fast and knowing that I can beat the ball to first base," Chisholm said. "He's just telling me, 'Hey, put it down first, and then you move,' and I feel like that worked a lot. I felt like I put it down, watched it hit the ground, and then I started running."

Around the outfield
Brian Anderson saw his first action in left field during Monday's game, and he didn't have to wait long for the ball to find him. He cut off Luis Guillorme's leadoff double before it could get to the wall, though the ball did trickle away a bit on the backhand. Anderson, who possesses a strong arm, felt he might have had a chance to throw out Guillorme at second if he picked it cleanly.

"That was good to get the nerves out, go run the ball down and try to get it in," Anderson said. "Was able to get a couple fly balls, just catching routine fly balls. That's what it's all about. [Outfield coach Keith Johnson] was able to take a lot of pressure off me and tell me, 'It's a Spring Training game, so you can get your feet wet. Just go out there.' Especially with the wind blowing in today, I didn't really have to worry about going back on the wall. So that was kind of nice. Just worried about coming in and getting the ball."

The way things stand, Jorge Soler will likely see time in left field and at designated hitter once his signing is officially announced. Miami intends to play matchups in 2022 thanks to a deeper lineup and roster; Anderson and utility player Joey Wendle could split time at third, or the latter could spell Chisholm and shortstop Miguel Rojas.

Back on the mound
Projected No. 4 starter Elieser Hernandez went two scoreless innings and struck out three batters in his Grapefruit League debut. The 26-year-old right-hander worked around a leadoff double and a hit-by-pitch to keep the Mets off the board in the first, then fanned two of three in the second.

Hernandez, who was on the 60-day injured list twice in 2021, bulked up a bit in order to add strength and be healthy in '22. Just like last Spring Training, his focus lies in developing his changeup. Of his 32 pitches, Hernandez threw it five times, recording two whiffs and one called strike. 

"I feel very well," Hernandez said via an interpreter. "I'm very excited to bring my changeup back, and I've got to keep it for the rest of the season."

Up next
Jesús Luzardo will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. He is lined up for the fifth spot in the Marlins' starting rotation.