Notes: Cooper sees payoff; another Conine

September 18th, 2020

Group chats have become a lot more upbeat for the Marlins in the shortened 60-game 2020 season.

“We talk about it every day in our group chats, that we’ve got a chance to do something special and we have a chance to win every day,” first baseman/designated hitter said. “That’s what we’re coming in there to do.”

The Marlins are in position to reach the postseason for the first time since the organization won the World Series in 2003. The franchise’s last winning season was in ’09.

For players like Cooper, experiencing success is rewarding.

Cooper has been with the Marlins for three seasons. The previous two brought last-place finishes. From 2018-19, Miami combined for a 120-203 record.

The 2019 team finished 57-105, the second-most losses in franchise history. Only the 1998 Marlins, with 108 losses, experienced more defeats. The ’19 squad finished 40 games behind the first-place Braves. Now, Miami still has a chance to make a run and catch Atlanta in the National League East standings.

“I think you’re seeing the fruits of the labor [paying off],” Cooper said on Friday during a Zoom call with the media. “We brought in some veterans to shore up the lineup a little bit. It’s just a collective thing. It’s really fun to be a part of.”

The ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, preached patience when it assumed control after the 2017 season.

Cooper was acquired in November 2017 from the Yankees, along with Caleb Smith, in what was then called a Minor League trade. Miami sent right-handed prospect Michael King and $250,000 in international bonus pool money to New York.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said it’s important for the players who have been part of the building process since 2018 to experience some success.

“It’s extremely important because you don’t want to be on a team that’s losing over 100 games,” Mattingly said. “We won 50-something games [last year]. That’s not a good feeling. That part is really tough. Now we’re, at least hopefully, starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Conine officially acquired
Longtime Marlins fans referred to his father as Mr. Marlin. Now the next generation from the Conine family is officially part of the Marlins.

Outfielder , the son of former Marlins great , was announced on Friday as the player to be named from the Aug. 31 trade that sent Jonathan Villar to the Blue Jays. The news isn’t surprising, because it was revealed when the deal was struck that Conine was going to be the player to be named.

Griffin Conine, 23, was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Blue Jays’ No. 15 prospect. Raised in South Florida, Conine was the Blue Jays’ second-round pick in 2018 from Duke University.

Injury updates
• Infielder (lacerated right index finger) and outfielder (right hamstring strain) each played in a simulated game on Thursday at the alternate training site in Jupiter, Fla. The earliest Berti can be reinstated is Sunday. Sierra, like Berti, experienced no issues in the simulated game, nor in workouts Friday.

• Left-hander (right oblique strain) threw an inning on Thursday and is scheduled to throw again Sunday in a simulated game.