JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins bench coach and offensive coordinator James Rowson enters his second season in Miami with the luxury of continuity. While the club's starting pitching might be young and inexperienced, the projected lineup is filled with proven veterans. Every position except for right field, where free-agent acquisition Adam Duvall will slot, returns the starter. The winner of the second-base job -- whether it be Jazz Chisholm or Isan Díaz -- played last season for the Marlins.
After Miami in 2019 ranked last in the Majors in home runs and slugging percentage and 29th in runs, the offense showed improvement in '20 despite roster turnover because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The Marlins finished 25th in homers and slugging, and 21st in runs. The organization believes those numbers will go up with a full season of All-Star Starling Marte, the addition of All-Star Duvall and another year of experience for the others.
In Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Mets at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Marlins exhibited the various ways they can get on the scoreboard. Following Garrett Cooper's leadoff double in the fourth, Brian Anderson moved him over on a sharp grounder to second. Duvall then produced a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Miguel Rojas hit a two-run homer.
"In my mind, I say sky's the limit," Rowson said during a Zoom call. "I hate to put ceilings on anything. I think these guys are a good group of guys as long as they continue to stay consistent and know what they want to do at the plate. We have a good group of guys that understand that it's a matter of having a plan throughout the season and being able to maintain that plan through the long season that's in front of us.
"But I feel really good about this offense as a whole. It's a good group, these guys click together. We have the ability to score runs by driving the ball out of the ballpark, and we also have the ability to do like we did today and manufacture a run. A big at-bat with Brian Anderson moving that runner over, and all of a sudden 'Duvy' comes in and we get the run. So I think this team has a lot of ways to score runs. As we continue to play together through the course of the year, I see a lot of positive things happening."
Below are additional topics Rowson addressed:
On the prospects
"I'm really happy with a lot of guys I've gotten a chance to see, some players like Peyton Burdick and some players like JJ Bleday. These guys look really good right now. Connor Scott as well. I'm really excited about the guys that have gotten a chance to play in the games, and they've gotten some at-bats."
Of note: Outfielders Bleday, Burdick and Scott were all non-roster invitees. Bleday and Burdick have homered in Grapefruit League play, while Scott tripled on Monday. Burdick and Scott, who have been reassigned, were in their first big league camp. Bleday is in his second.
On second basemen Chisholm and Díaz
"Isan's made a lot of strides with being able to get quality plate appearances. Again, plate discipline has been really good throughout the spring. Maybe a tough at-bat here or there, but throughout the spring has been pretty good plate discipline. Jazz has the ability to be really dynamic. You can see the ability just pop up and flashes, and when he's good, he's really good. So I think top to bottom as a whole, the young guys have all continued to get better, continued to grow. There's a way to go, but they're on the right track."
Of note: Thanks to a recent surge, Chisholm, MLB Pipeline's No. 66 overall prospect, is 8-for-32 with five runs, three homers, two walks and 11 strikeouts. Díaz is 2-for-28 with two runs, one double, one triple, six walks and 10 strikeouts.