Marlins roster and schedule
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Miami Marlins roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Miami Marlins roster and schedule:

MARLINS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Marlins roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Jorge Alfaro
Francisco Cervelli

Infielders:

Jesús Aguilar
Isan Díaz
Brian Anderson
Miguel Rojas
Jonathan Villar
Garrett Cooper
Jon Berti

Outfielders:

Lewis Brinson
Corey Dickerson
Matt Joyce
Harold Ramirez
Monte Harrison
Magneuris Sierra

Starters:

Sandy Alcantara
Caleb Smith
Pablo López
José Ureña
Jordan Yamamoto

Relievers:

Brandon Kintzler
Yimi García
Brad Boxberger
Ryne Stanek
Adam Conley
Drew Steckenrider
Stephen Tarpley
Elieser Hernandez


BREAKDOWN:

The Marlins are coming off of a disastrous 57-105 season, their second consecutive fifth-place finish. Their roster is not that much different. They replaced Starlin Castro with the more versatile Jonathan Villar, and added closer Brandon Kintzler, outfielder Corey Dickerson, and the power bat of Jesús Aguilar. Will that be enough to hang with the big dogs in the NL East?

The starting rotation has the potential to be a lot better than most people think. It was decidedly not very good last year, as Sandy Alcantara was the only member of the rotation to post a sub-4.00 ERA. Many rotation members struggled with control — Alcantara, Jordan Yamamoto, and Caleb Smith each averaged at least 3.5 walks per nine innings. However, Yamamoto and Smith also averaged nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings. There’s potential here.

Last season, the Marlins had baseball’s second-worst offense, averaging 3.80 runs per game compared to the 4.83 league average. Adding Villar, Dickerson, and Aguilar will help in that regard but they also need some mainstays to break out. Jorge Alfaro is an obvious candidate, but the most ground could be covered by Lewis Brinson. The former top prospect has a career .531 OPS in 709 major league plate appearances. If he can somehow come anywhere close to league average, that would represent a significant boost in offense for the Marlins.

The bullpen is going to be an issue for the Marlins. Kintzler is solid, but he turns 36 on August 1, has shown inconsistency over his career, and is injury-prone. The Marlins don’t have a good fallback plan if Kintzler falters due to underperformance or injury. Yimi García would seem to be second-in-command but he’s plagued by the same issues as Kintzler. If the Marlins fail to make progress this season, it will likely be because of the bullpen.

MARLINS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 24-26: @ Phillies
  • July 27-28: vs. Orioles
  • July 29-30: @ Orioles
  • July 31-August 2: vs. Nationals
  • August 4-6: vs. Phillies
  • August 7-9: @ Mets
  • August 11-12: @ Blue Jays
  • August 14-16: vs. Braves
  • August 17-20: vs. Mets
  • August 21-24: @ Nationals
  • August 25-27: @ Mets
  • August 28-30: vs. Rays
  • September 1-2: vs. Blue Jays
  • September 4-6: @ Rays
  • September 7-9: @ Braves
  • September 10-13: vs. Phillies
  • September 14-16: vs. Red Sox
  • September 18-20: vs. Nationals
  • September 21-24: @ Braves
  • September 25-27: @ Yankees

The entire Marlins schedule can be seen here.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.