By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
The Miami Marlins are now past the midway point of Spring Training, with starting pitchers getting to throw more innings and position players getting more at-bats deeper into Grapefruit League games.
I spent the weekend in Jupiter with the Marlins, getting to broadcast games with the Marlins Radio Network’s Kyle Sielaff on Marlins.com on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
It was a blast to get to work with Kyle, and I can’t thank him or the Marlins broadcasting department enough for the opportunity.
Thursday’s game featured a top-tier pitching matchup, with Jose Fernandez facing Jacob deGrom of the Mets. The Mets won 6-5 but the Marlins made a good rally late in the game, and it was great to see Austin Nola come up with an RBI double and RBI triple late in the game.
I spent Friday on the minor league fields, spending some time with Suns manager David Berg and his staff. Many 2015 Suns are working out with the AAA squad at the moment, but the rosters on the minor league side will change a lot between now and when Spring Training ends. That afternoon the minor leaguers faced the different minor league Cardinal teams, with four games going on at once.
While I wasn’t told which individual players would be back, I’m led to believe that we’ll see several notable returners from 2015, as well as some exciting newcomers to the Double-A level.
Saturday’s game only lasted two innings, but I got to call each of former Sun Adam Conley’s six strikeouts. His start couldn’t have gone any better, except for maybe rain staying away. Conley is making a bid for a spot at the back end of the Marlins rotation, and if he can keep up the pace he’s set this spring, he should start the season in Miami.
Yesterday the rain fortunately held off at Roger Dean Stadium, as the Marlins beat the Cardinals 5-2. Former Sun Christian Yelich had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-4 in his best hitting performance of the spring. It was also nice to see former Sun Jose Urena get the win, as he strives for a spot in the Miami bullpen.
I wasn’t able to interview many people during my brief stay in Jupiter, but I did have a great conversation with MLB.com Marlins beat reporter Joe Frisaro, which you can listen to below:
My broadcast partner for this year Marco LaNave was also in Jupiter on Sunday, getting to meet the Suns staff as we keep preparing for this upcoming season with only 17 days between now and Opening Day.
This week the Suns will host the last of their High School baseball games on Monday, and then Tuesday afternoon brings a press conference with some exciting news for fans at the Baseball Grounds. More on that tomorrow!
Here are today’s #MarlinsMonday links, we’re getting closer to Opening Day!
Marlins.com: Marlins tab Chen for Opening Day start
Marlins.com: Fernandez: ‘I don’t want to get shut down’
Marlins.com: Conley dominates in bid for rotation spot
Marlins.com: Realmuto working on framing pitches
Miami Herald: Marlins’ Realmuto brings rare athleticism to catcher position
Miami Herald: Marlins’ spring clubhouse wrapped up in March Madness as usual
Sun Sentinel: Double-whammy of injuries can’t stop Marlins’ Don Kelly
Fish Stripes: 2016 Marlins Season Preview: Remaining pitchers
Yahoo! Big League Stew: The Cubs have the best dress code in baseball
ESPN: White Sox chairman declares LaRoche saga over
ESPN: Griffey: LaRoche has the right to walk away
MLB.com: Hello, Havana: Historic Cuba trip begins
The New York Times: This Cuban Defector Changed Baseball. Nobody Remembers.