No. 8 prospect Devers debuts against Giants

April 25th, 2021

Perhaps a fresh face will help breathe some life into Miami’s offense.

Middle infielder , cousin of Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, made his Major League debut against the Giants on Saturday and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the Marlins' 5-2 win.

“Excited to see his career start,” manager Don Mattingly said.

The rookie was added to the 26-man roster from the taxi squad after Brian Anderson was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Devers was on Miami’s taxi squad for the 2020 playoffs, as well as both road trips to begin this season.

“All I know is I’m going to do my best and go out there and compete, and do everything I can do to keep improving and get better,” Devers said on Friday.

Devers, who ranks as the Marlins’ No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, hasn’t played higher than Class A Advanced. In 2019, Devers slashed .322/.391/.390 in 47 games across three levels of the Minors.

Power isn’t part of Devers’ game -- he only has one home run in the Minors -- but the middle infielder has been lauded for his bat-to-ball skills, which are the best among Marlins prospects per MLB Pipeline’s scouting report. Devers has also flashed speed at the lower levels, stealing 37 bases on 47 attempts.

“He knows how to play,” Mattingly said on Thursday. “I know he’s a young kid, but young kids that have played winter ball and things like that for the Dominican, they’re not afraid of anything over here, and they don’t seem to be too nervous. So José’s a baseball player, he’s going to be fine. He’s going to be a good player.”

With Devers starting at second, Jazz Chisholm Jr. slid over to shortstop and Miguel Rojas got an off-day.

“Miggy is one of those guys who’s always trying to do more,” Mattingly said. "I thought it was a good day to pull the reins back a little bit.”

Devers’ debut comes at a time when Miami’s offense needs a spark. With Anderson, outfielder Starling Marte (left rib fracture) and catcher Jorge Alfaro (left hamstring strain) going on the injured list this week, the Marlins' offense has continued its downward trend.

In their last five games, the Marlins have averaged just 2.2 runs and have been shut out twice. Jesús Aguilar, Adam Duvall and Garrett Cooper have especially struggled of late, combining to hit .136 (9-for-66) in their last seven games.

“It’s human nature,” Mattingly said. “These guys are competitors. They’re trying to do whatever they can to win. I think it’s natural that they want to do more when a few guys in the lineup [get] banged up.”

Sierra in Center
Along with the insertion of Devers into the starting lineup, Magneuris Sierra made his first start of the season, going 0-for-2 with two walks and one run. He also made a nice sliding catch in center field to rob Giants starter Kevin Gausman of a hit in the sixth.

Lewis Brinson, who has played every inning at center since Marte was placed on the injured list, was available off the bench.

“This is a big ol’ outfield,” Mattingly said. “I like him out there.”

Sierra has played sparingly this season. In 10 plate appearances entering Saturday, eight of which were in a pinch-hitting role, Sierra has recorded just one hit.

"He’s in a tough spot, honestly,” Mattingly said. "It’s tough playing when you’re not playing very often. You’re getting an at-bat here or there.”

The Marlins have been looking for production out of center field since Marte's injury. In four games since Marte hit the injured list, Brinson has hit just .154 with no extra-base hits.

Minor Leaguers on hold
The Marlins’ Minor League complex in Jupiter, Fla., has been shut down to multiple positive COVID-19 tests, a source tells

Action will be on hold throughout the weekend, but will not impact the beginning of the season, per Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640.

Miami’s alternate training site is located in Jacksonville, Fla., the same location as the team’s Triple-A affiliate.

Minor League seasons are scheduled to begin on May 4.