Duvall: Marlins' OF can go against any OF

Mattingly on roster options, pitchers throw live batting practice

February 24th, 2021

JUPITER, Fla. -- Much has been said about Adam Duvall's impact on Miami's lineup. What has flown under the radar is how his glove might boost the outfield.

Duvall, Corey Dickerson and Starling Marte have 24 years of Major League experience between them. All three have been All-Stars, with Dickerson and Marte winning at least one Gold Glove Award and Duvall being named a finalist in the past. When asked what could be expected from the all-veteran outfield, Duvall didn't shy away from its potential.

"From the defensive side of things -- that's what I'm going to talk about -- I like our outfield," Duvall said Wednesday on Zoom. "I feel like you can put us up against anybody's outfield, and with the guys that we have out there, we're going to defend, we're going to run balls down, and we're going to try and keep guys from going to take an extra base. That's what an aggressive outfield is. I believe we're trying to suck the life out of the other offense, and that's what we're going to try to do this year. We're going to try to be aggressive, just going to be out there making plays."

Defense is an element of Duvall's game that Marlins general manager Kim Ng acknowledged was part of the draw of signing the seven-year veteran. In 2018, Dickerson and Duvall finished first and second, respectively, among all Major League left fielders in outs above average. And though Duvall has just 27 career appearances in right, he recorded an 88 percent success rate in his 17 games at the position in 2020.

"One thing I think people lose sight of a little bit is he plays both sides of the ball," Ng said. "He's very good at the plate as well as very good in the outfield. That was a big part of the attraction for us is he's a complete player in those respects. Him as a player, again, offensive threat in the lineup. You want to put as much pressure on the opposing pitchers as we can, and putting him right there in the middle is definitely going to add some depth to what we're trying to do."

Pitchers who rake
Other than some pepper and bunting, Marlins pitchers haven't started the hitting process yet, according to Marlins manager Don Mattingly. With guys building up innings early in camp, there isn't an opportunity to get an at-bat until later in the spring.

"I really worry more about them getting their feet underneath them as far as all the drill work we do, not trying to throw 10 things with new muscles working at one time," Mattingly said. "And then we'll start slowly getting the pitchers that we know are going to be swinging the bat. Start that slowly where the ribcage gets involved more and making sure those movements are kind of 50 percent effort to start, and then just build off of that."

Possible roster setup
With no designated hitter, how might that affect the 26-man roster? Though MLB waived the maximum number of pitchers permitted on the active roster at a given time, Mattingly sees the Marlins going with 13 position players and 13 pitchers.

"You can go less if we need to, go more we could manage with," Mattingly said. "Less guys on the bench, it just puts you in a tougher spot of when you can pinch-hit, how to use your guys. You may have to wait longer."

Should the Marlins' roster split evenly, that would mean a five-man rotation and an eight-man bullpen. Over the offseason, Miami added relievers Anthony Bass, Dylan Floro, John Curtiss, Adam Cimber and Ross Detwiler. They join returners Yimi García, Richard Bleier and James Hoyt. None of those arms are expected in long relief. So where does that leave Rule 5 Draft picks Paul Campbell and Zach Pop?

He said it
"You will not find me Twittering around on social media." -- Mattingly

Worth noting
• Sandy Alcantara, Nick Neidert, Daniel Castano, Bass and Cimber were among the pitchers to throw live batting practice on Wednesday.

• Outfielder Harold Ramirez, whom Miami designated for assignment last Wednesday, was claimed off waivers by Cleveland.