MIAMI – For a month of Spring Training, outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Nick Neidert each made a strong case to make the Marlins’ Opening Day roster. Both showed they are close to being big league ready, but the organization will give them some more Minor League seasoning whenever baseball activities return.
On Saturday, the Marlins optioned Harrison and Neidert to Triple-A Wichita, reducing their roster to 47. Harrison is Miami’s ninth-ranked prospect, and Neidert is ranked 10th, according to MLB Pipeline. Neither has appeared in the big leagues, but that could happen this year. Harrison and Neidert were the final two players on the Marlins' 40-man roster with no big league service time.
Exactly when the Marlins and the rest of Major League teams get back on the field remains unknown as the season is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harrison, 24, appeared in 15 Grapefruit League games, and hit .364 (8-for-22) with six stolen bases. Neidert, 23, had a 1.50 ERA in six innings, with six strikeouts and one walk.
Left-handed-hitting Magneuris Sierra is considered more of a bench option, and Matt Kemp, a non-roster invitee, is regarded as a bat off the bench who occasionally would play in the outfield.
Neidert was in the mix for a back-of-the-rotation spot.
The main candidates to be the fifth starter are Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger. There's a good chance one or two of the three will make the club as a reliever/spot starter.
The first four in the rotation project to be Sandy Alcantara, José Ureña, Pablo López and Caleb Smith. In what order had not been announced when Spring Training was cancelled on March 12.