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Marlins FAQ: Details on the upcoming season

@JoeFrisaro
June 24, 2020

MIAMI -- The Marlins are once again preparing to get back on the field, and if they are able to recapture the energy and excitement they showed in Spring Training, this could become an entertaining summer of baseball in South Florida. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday night that it has

MIAMI -- The Marlins are once again preparing to get back on the field, and if they are able to recapture the energy and excitement they showed in Spring Training, this could become an entertaining summer of baseball in South Florida.

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday night that it has implemented a 60-game regular season, with camps opening on July 1. After being shut down for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is time for MLB to play ball.

Play Ball: MLB announces 2020 regular season | FAQ: All you need to know about 2020 season

Returning to play is a welcome relief for the Marlins, a franchise that had shown signs of vast improvement when Spring Training was halted on March 12. In its third season under the ownership of Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, Miami feels close to turning the corner in its building process.

Many of the organization’s core players are starting to reach their prime, and a wave of top prospects are on the verge of reaching the big leagues. Before Grapefruit League action was postponed, the Marlins had a 12-6 record.

The best opening 60-game stretch in franchise history came in 1997, when Miami started 35-25 and finished with a World Series title.

Where will camp take place, and when?
The Marlins will be working out at Marlins Park, with players set to report on July 1. In recent weeks, a limited number of players have already been training informally at the retractable-roof facility.

With a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Florida and Arizona, MLB closed all Spring Training sites last week and requested that all 30 clubs conduct summer camp in their home city.

When and where is Opening Day?
The schedule hasn’t yet been released, but July 23 or 24 will be Opening Day.

Which teams will be on the schedule?
As part of an effort to reduce travel risks, a regional schedule is in place. The Marlins will face teams in the National League East and the American League East. So along with playing its natural division rivals (Braves, Mets, Nationals and Phillies), Miami will also face the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles.

Where will the Marlins play their home games?
All home games will take place at Marlins Park.

How are the Marlins’ injured players doing?
Catcher Jorge Alfaro (left oblique tightness) and right-handed reliever Ryne Nelson (back stiffness) should be ready to take the field when the season starts. Right-handed reliever Jeff Brigham (right biceps) could still be a while away from returning. He missed almost all of Spring Training and was expected to open the year on the 60-day injured list.

What are some competitions to watch when camp resumes?
Right field and the bullpen were the hottest competitions when Spring Training was shut down. The primary candidates in right are Matt Joyce, Harold Ramirez, Lewis Brinson and Garrett Cooper. Who will close hasn't been established, although Brandon Kintzler is the front-runner. Non-roster invitee relievers Brad Boxberger, Ryan Cook, Aaron Northcraft, Josh A. Smith and left-hander Alex Vesia were all making a case to be on the club. But with only a few 40-man roster spots expected to open, it is unlikely all will be retained.

These are the Marlins' undecided roster battles

Who will serve as the DH?
The prime candidates are the right-handed-hitting Cooper and the left-handed-hitting Joyce.

DH in the NL: What it means for the Marlins

How will rosters be different? How will those changes affect the Marlins?
Teams will begin the season with a 30-man active roster. That will drop to 28 after two weeks and 26 after four weeks.

The expanded rosters mean several players considered "on the bubble" in Spring Training are likely to make the club. Brinson, in the mix in right field, now has a greater chance of being on the roster. Prospects like outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Nick Neidert could also be on the Opening Day roster. Both were optioned before roster moves were frozen a few months ago. The designated hitter opens up opportunities for several players who were looked at either as platoon or part-time options.

How can I watch the games?
Out-of-market Marlins games can be streamed LIVE on MLB.TV or on your favorite supported devices.

How can I listen?
Every Marlins game can be heard LIVE online or on the go with MLB Audio.

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