Marlins outfielder Lewis Brinson has faced steep expectations after he was acquired as the centerpiece of the trade that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee. But after back-to-back disappointing seasons in Miami, the 25-year-old may be running out of chances, writes Wells Dusenbury of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. While manager Don Mattingly has been at times willing to sacrifice winning in exchange for player development, he hopes to turn the corner and begin the transition out of mediocrity in year three of the complete rebuild. For Brinson, that means he will have to capitalize on his opportunities and start to translate his undeniable tools into on-field production. In particular, he’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts and improve his walk rate; it bears mentioning that he’s begun to show some progress in that department in September. However, the overall batting line still leaves much to be desired, including a complete power outage: Brinson hasn’t homered once in 2019 after tallying 11 just a year ago. After more than 650 plate appearances with the Marlins, next season may be his last chance to actualize the potential that made him a highly-touted prospect.
More from around the NL East…
- A pair of Phillies infielders may have played their final game in the City of Brotherly Love, cutting the final tie between today’s Phillies and the powerhouse teams of the late-2000s, writes Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic. With Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez eligible for arbitration, both are strong candidates to be non-tendered: It would cost a considerable price to keep Hernandez around when Scott Kingery exists as a cheaper, more productive option; likewise, Franco has been streaky and is likely not viewed as a long-term solution for the club. However, they remain as the only links to the days of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard, bridging the team through the doldrums of 2014-2015 and into a new era of Bryce Harper-led Philly baseball.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post offers a look towards the Mets’ offseason, advocating for an uptick in payroll as the team seeks to vault itself into contention in the hyper-competitive NL East. With franchise cornerstones like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil playing under affordable pre-arbitration contracts, now might be the time to hike up the spending elsewhere to capitalize on existing young talent. The Mets will have to navigate the impending free agency of Zack Wheeler, who could be retained in order to preserve the rotation depth, as well as make decisions on Edwin Diaz and Noah Syndergaard. Sherman proposes a two-year payroll allocation, which would allow general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to, say, go all-in on 2020 under the promise that expenditures will drop the following season, when David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes come off the books.