With the Marlins sitting just out of Wild Card position, president of baseball operations Michael Hill discussed his team’s roster with MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. While Hill didn’t get into specifics, he did suggest that Miami will continue looking for ways to improve its roster.
The club only has about a week to add playoff-eligible players, of course, but has been said to be looking at both pitching and outfield additions. “We’re right in the thick of this thing,” Hill said when asked about possible acquisitions. “Every win counts. We’re going to give ourselves every opportunity to do so, hopefully throughout the rest of August and into September.”
As ever, internal dynamics can have the largest impact. First and foremost, Hill noted that the return of A.J. Ramos will restore the late-inning mix that the club hoped for when it acquired Fernando Rodney earlier in the summer. Rodney will stay in the ninth inning for the time being.
The starting staff is still hurting with Adam Conley and Wei-Yin Chen on the shelf. It seems that the former is closer to his return, though his timetable remains uncertain. Hill suggested that the hope is Chen can make it back by the end of the regular season, though it appears that his elbow injury will keep him out through at least most of the month of September.
Critically, ace Jose Fernandez is on track for the team’s innings target, according to Hill. The team’s top baseball operations man says that Fernandez is set up to shoulder a full workload down the stretch and into a hopeful post-season berth.
Also, with Justin Bour still working his way back from an ankle injury, the Marlins expect to mix and match at first base to get their best bats into the lineup. Hill said that manager Don Mattingly will decide who to go to among Derek Dietrich, Chris Johnson, and the just-recalled Xavier Scruggs.