Inbox: Marlins' trade options, Chisholm, Kemp

February 27th, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. -- With Spring Training slowly approaching the halfway mark, let's get to fans' questions in a Marlins Inbox.

With the starting pitching depth, is it possible we see Caleb Smith, Pablo López, Jordan Yamamoto and José Ureña gone by the Trade Deadline? Or do you see the Opening Day rotation staying intact? -- @BrockLanders41

When you have controllable and talented starting pitching, it’s wise to retain it. Yes, the Marlins moved Zac Gallen ahead of the Trade Deadline last July 31 to get . And the organization insists that the only reason it parted with a high-end, controllable starter like Gallen was because it received a projected big league regular shortstop in return. Generally, though, it is the smarter play to keep the starting pitching you have, because the price to acquire it via trade, or the cost of free agents, tends to be high.

So I would bank on the Marlins retaining all of their starting pitchers, even with prospects like and getting closer to being MLB ready this season. The Marlins used 10 starters last season, so all will be needed at some point.

Can Jazz Chisholm be up midway through the season? -- @josecuba305

The 22-year-old, left-handed-hitting shortstop is off to a nice start in Grapefruit League action, showing great patience at the plate. He has elite bat speed, and a world of untapped talent. Fans are going to like him because he plays with passion and personality. How well he controls all of his emotions and if he's able to reduce his strikeout rate will factor into how quickly he gets to the Majors. Chisholm struck out at a 33.8% clip in 89 games at Double-A Jackson last season before he was acquired by the Marlins. In 23 games after the trade, at Double-A, Chisholm's strikeout rate dropped to 25.5%. Defensively, Chisholm has to refining to do as well.

The Marlins have Miguel Rojas as their shortstop for now. But it could be possible that at some point this season, Chisholm pushes his way onto the big league roster. He will be among the more anticipated prospects to follow.

Might be too soon to call, but any surprises that might get the Opening Day call? -- @Hey_Chuck_

There really aren’t any surprises, because the front-runners are known and the prospects who are knocking on the door have already been addressed. I’ve mentioned this prospect a few times in recent days on social media: Lewin Díaz, the left-handed-hitting first baseman, has really impressed all camp.

Díaz belted 27 homers in the Minors last season. The Marlins acquired him from the Twins as part of the Sergio Romo trade, and he has great power potential. After the trade, Díaz struggled a bit with his batting average, hitting .200 at Jacksonville in 31 games with eight homers.

At some point in Spring Training, the Marlins may look to see if Díaz can play some corner outfield to give him more versatility.

Is Isan Díaz going to hold on to the second base job or will he be Triple-A bound? -- @Phiotatravieso1

Nothing is being given, but Díaz has the inside edge to be the regular second baseman. Now, it’s a matter of the 23-year-old seizing on the opportunity. Díaz has certainly been prepared, and he has worked hard in the offseason and early in camp to put himself in the best position to be the everyday second baseman. But if for some reason, if he struggles in the final weeks of camp, and the organization feels he would be better suited to start off at Triple-A Wichita, Jonathan Villar is a candidate to play second.

Players like Matt Kemp and Sean Rodriguez are in on Minor League contracts. With all the competition going into Spring Training, what are the odds both make the Opening Day roster? -- @SlimDownDadBod

As noted, Kemp and Rodriguez are non-roster invitees. Each could benefit from rosters expanding to 26 players, which gives the organization the option to carry more of a specialist.

Kemp could be a right-handed bat off the bench, with the ability to play some left field, on a limited basis. Kemp has looked good in camp. He’s thinner than in recent years and is moving around much better.

Rodriguez’s path could be a little more difficult. But he is a veteran utility player, and having a big league track record could work in his favor. In his case, it may be a matter if the Marlins suffer any injuries later in camp.