MIAMI -- The restructuring of the Marlins' roster has dramatically changed how the club's lineup will look in 2018. No longer does the organization have the power of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, or the speed of Dee Gordon.Stanton was dealt to the Yankees and Ozuna to the Cardinals, while
MIAMI -- The restructuring of the Marlins' roster has dramatically changed how the club's lineup will look in 2018. No longer does the organization have the power of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, or the speed of Dee Gordon.
Stanton was dealt to the Yankees and Ozuna to the Cardinals, while Gordon went to Seattle. With the Marlins' redirection in full swing, the lineup promises to be a work in progress, as young players are being infused into the system.
Not all of the newcomers will likely be big league ready by Opening Day, but they could see time during the year.
With Miami's Spring Training set to begin with pitchers and catchers workouts on Feb. 14, MLB.com takes a look at how the lineup currently shapes up:
LINEUP IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Braxton Lee, RF
Starlin Castro, 2B
Christian Yelich, LF
Justin Bour, 1B
Martin Prado, 3B
J.T. Realmuto, C
JT Riddle, SS
Magneuris Sierra, CF
Not all of the projected starters are household names, but the lineup as of now is built mostly around speed and athleticism. Lee, who shared the Southern League batting title at Double-A Jacksonville last year, is strong defensively and extremely fast. If Prado recovers from an injury-plagued 2017, he provides veteran presence and stability on a young squad. Riddle showed promises as a rookie, but he is recovering from left shoulder surgery. Yelich and Realmuto, the subject of trade discussions, are building blocks, if they stay, and Bour provides power. There's also a balance of right-handed and lefty batters.
Sierra, part of the Ozuna trade, played in 22 games with the Cardinals last year. Perhaps the fastest player on the team, the 21-year-old may open the season at Triple-A New Orleans if the club feels he needs more seasoning. Prado, 34, saw action in just 37 games in 2017. There's been some speculation he could play left field, with Brian Anderson being the regular third baseman. But Anderson, like Sierra, may start off at Triple-A. Prado dealt with hamstring and knee issues in 2017, making it doubtful he would be asked to handle outfield in spacious Marlins Park.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
Additional trades are possible, with Yelich and Realmuto being the most regular subjects of trade speculation. Moving either player would mark the departure of more than half the starting lineup from last year. Castro and Prado are other possible trade pieces, but they also may be more likely to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The outfield could be totally revised, as well. Yelich, Sierra and Lee are the only outfielders on the 40-man roster, and the team continues to explore other options. They'd like to add more right-handed power bat. Shortstop is another position to monitor. Although Riddle is expected to be ready for Spring Training, there's always caution on players returning from surgery.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.