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Inbox: Is Yelich bound for stardom?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Miami fans
March 28, 2017

What can we expect from Christian Yelich this year? I loved watching him get a taste of leadership and meaningful games in the World Baseball Classic. -- @CoolKidJoeXBLWithout question, Yelich raised his profile and performance while playing a pivotal role on Team USA's championship team. Tom Koehler noted that Yelich

What can we expect from Christian Yelich this year? I loved watching him get a taste of leadership and meaningful games in the World Baseball Classic.
-- @CoolKidJoeXBL

Without question, Yelich raised his profile and performance while playing a pivotal role on Team USA's championship team. Tom Koehler noted that Yelich no longer will be viewed as "the quiet kid in the corner." Maybe the World Baseball Classic was the platform to push Yelich into stardom.
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It will be interesting to see how Yelich handles himself on a daily basis, through the highs and lows of the season. Yelich has already shown he is a really good player. Now, he is knocking on the door to becoming a truly great player.
Will the Marlins really trade for a third baseman placeholder if Martin Prado is hurt long-term instead of bringing up Brian Anderson?
-- @TitoTwoStrikes

Hamstring strains are tricky. You never know how long they will take to recover, but Prado received good news when his right hamstring strain was diagnosed as a Grade 1 strain, the least severe. At most, I'd anticipate Prado missing the first three or four weeks of the season. Best-case scenario? He is back during the first homestand. Either way, the Marlins haven't made finding a long-term answer at third base a priority. They intend to go with Derek Dietrich getting a majority of the playing time, and Miguel Rojas filling in occasionally.
Anderson, ranked as Miami's No. 3 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is developing nicely. Anderson impressed in Spring Training, but don't read into that as saying the former University of Arkansas standout is ready to be a big league regular in April. Give him time in Double-A and see where that leads.
How concerned should we be over Adam Conley?
-- @TheMarfins

In my opinion, a year ago, Conley was the Marlins' top story of Spring Training. The lefty made a strong impression, had his fastball clocked in the mid-90s and easily made the rotation. This spring has been a struggle, mainly getting his mechanics in sync. His velocity has been in the 88-91-mph range. All indications are he's healthy. But there are many moving parts in his delivery, and getting them working together has been a challenge. What's encouraging is that Conley was much more effective in his last outing, tossing three innings of relief last Friday against the Nationals. If Conley can sustain his delivery, he should be fine.

What are your thoughts on Jose Urena's chances of making the Marlins' Opening Day roster?
-- @bbeattie4

If Urena's last outing is any indication, his chances are very good to make the club. It's no secret that Urena is out of options, which means if he doesn't break camp with the club, he would be designated for assignment, and the Marlins risk losing him on waivers. I don't see that happening. So barring a trade before Opening Day, I'd anticipate Urena making the club. There is a chance both Conley and Urena are on the team. If Conley is the fifth starter, I could see Urena being used as a long reliever or spot starter.
Also, remember, making the club is the first step. After that, roles can change in a hurry. So if Urena starts off in the 'pen, it doesn't mean he still couldn't start at some point.

Is it me or does Justin Bour look like he's in great shape?
-- @lwloco

You're correct. Bour came into camp ready to play. On the roster, he's listed at 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds, so he still is an imposing figure at first base. One of his objectives in the offseason was to put himself in position to play every day. As we know, he missed more than two months last year with a right ankle injury. The Marlins are hopeful he can hit left-handed pitching enough to be out there every day. That's also Bour's objective.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.