Mattingly: 'We think we are good'

March 21st, 2021

The Marlins have been playing well this spring, going to 9-4 after Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Astros. Will that carry over into the regular season? Manager Don Mattingly seems to think so.

Mattingly, who isn't interested in wins and losses during Spring Training, loves the team’s preparation and the work it has accomplished thus far.

“We think we are good. I’ll leave it at that,” Mattingly said. “I know a lot of people don’t think we would be able to compete in this [National League East] division. [People think] last year was a little bit of a fluke with 60 games. I think none of that matters, really. It’s more about us. We feel we have a good club.”

There is a reason Mattingly feels good about the Marlins this season. The rotation, led by , and , could be solid.

But tell Mattingly that the rotation could be dominant and he will say "dominant" is too strong a word.

“Over a course of a long season, you have young starters,” Mattingly said. “Usually with young starters, you get some inconsistencies. But pretty much, I would say three-quarters of our young starters have experience. They are under 25 but are pitching into their third full season.

“We’re a little more experienced than it looks. We think it’s good. They have good stuff. They have stuff to keep the runs down. We are pretty confident with it. If we can stay healthy within that rotation, we feel we are going to be pretty much in every game and give ourselves a chance to win.”

Rogers continues to impress
Left-hander showed on Sunday how much he wants to be in the Marlins’ starting rotation. He pitched a spring-high five innings, allowed two runs and struck out six in the victory at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. His only blemish was a two-run homer by Jeremy Peña in the fifth inning.

The fastball/changeup combination was working well for Rogers. Even his slider was in the zone, although he said he needs to improve the pitch a tick. The way things are going, Rogers loves his chances of making the rotation.

For the rest of the spring, Rogers wants to build on what he accomplished Sunday.

“I think my chances are pretty high,” Rogers said. “I’m going to make their decision as hard as possible. I think I’ve worked my tail off to get that last spot. But I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to control what I can control, go out there and pitch and show I can do it at the highest level.”

Rogers joined the big league team last year, and Mattingly was pleased to see him get experience on the mound.

“We saw glimpses of him -- some good, some really good, some bad,” Mattingly said. “I think all of that was good for him from the standpoint of understanding what he is dealing with when he is here in the big leagues. He did a really nice job over the winter of physically getting stronger. His bullpens and everything have been crisp and detailed. He got the experience from last year and has been applying it.”

Chisholm is hot
Second baseman , the No. 66 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, has been swinging a hot bat, getting five hits in his past 10 at-bats to raise his spring batting average to .250. He was 2-for-2 Sunday with a two-run home run in the sixth inning.

“He seems relaxed at the plate and seems jazzed. He has been better,” Mattingly said.

Chisholm is battling Isan Díaz and Jon Berti for the starting second base job.

“We are just letting it play out. We are not ready to make that decision at this point,” Mattingly said. “But he is one of the guys. He is swinging the bat well right now. We’ll see what happens the rest of the way.”

Worth noting
FOX Sports Florida announced plans to televise Monday’s Spring Training game between the Marlins and Cardinals. Live coverage from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium will begin at 1 p.m. ET by way of FOX Sports Midwest’s broadcast.

FOX Sports Florida color analyst Todd Hollandsworth will call the game in a split broadcast booth along with FOX Sports Midwest play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin and color analyst Rick Horton. Hollandsworth will be on-site in Jupiter, while McLaughlin and Horton will call the game remotely from St. Louis.