Here are some of my thoughts from Day 1 of Spring Training.
Sandy Alcantara will start opening day.
Brandon Kintzler is the closer.
I wouldn’t have expected Marlins Manager Don Mattingly to tip his hand on these so early in camp but I am fairly certain that’s the direction we are headed. So much can happen between now and March 26th, but if the season started today – that’s the deal.
Jonathan Villar and Jon Berti are the favorites to play Center Field for the Marlins. Mattingly reiterated what I had reported when Villar was acquired. He will be worked in there and provided he can get comfortable, we probably should expect it. Last Friday Villar seemed lukewarm to the idea, but it appears as though that has sorted itself out. Villar clearly can play Second Base and Shortstop. Team President Michael Hill previously mentioned Third Base for him. There is quite the “buzz” on Berti by the way. I was told I should be talking about him more. So here we are.
Matt Kemp as I reported Wednesday has been taking grounders at First Base in this early part of camp. Remember, the “official” reporting date is next Monday. Kemp I’m told is taking it very seriously, has committed himself to being in great shape and has even hired a personal chef. All this being said I am standing firm on the notion that Garrett Cooper should be the club’s starter at First Base. Is Jesus Aguilar simply insurance for Cooper ? I would not rule out that scenario.
Finally a comment thrown my way on young Starting Pitcher Edward Cabrera. A “Sleeping Giant” among Minor League prospects. I’ve had a lot of industry people ask me about him. He could be special.