The Marlins are reinstating infielder Jazz Chisholm from the injured list in advance of this afternoon’s game against the Dodgers, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald was among those to note (Twitter link). Chisholm is starting at shortstop and hitting leadoff today. Reliever Braxton Garrett is being optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville in a corresponding move.
Chisholm, one of the top prospects in baseball, got off to a fantastic start before landing on the IL late last month with a hamstring strain. Through 80 plate appearances, the 23-year-old has hit .290/.375/.551 with four homers and seven stolen bases. While he’s returning to the lineup as a shortstop, he figures to again resume his role as Miami’s second baseman for now. The Marlins are set at short, where Miguel Rojas is off to a great start, but they haven’t gotten much from Isan Díaz at the keystone in Chisholm’s absence.
Miami has started the season just 17-22, placing them four games back in the National League East. There’s still time for the Fish to right the ship, but Miami generally wasn’t expected to contend in a competitive division (last season’s appearance in the expanded postseason notwithstanding). Speculatively speaking, it’s easy to envision Rojas attracting interest from other clubs nearer to the trade deadline if the Marlins fall out of the playoff picture and if Rojas continues to hit at or near his current level (.284/.360/.448) while playing his typically strong defense at short.
Rojas is controllable via a club/vesting option for 2022, so the Marlins needn’t move him this summer if they’re so disinclined. He’s clearly a beloved member of the organization for his work on the field and in the clubhouse, so perhaps the Marlins will simply wind up valuing him more than other clubs would. It’s worth noting, however, that general manager Kim Ng wasn’t part of the organization when Rojas was acquired or when he signed his September 2019 extension. There’s a case to be made the Marlins should consider moving the 32-year-old in the coming months if there’s strong demand for his services. That would allow Miami to slide Chisholm to shortstop, where scouting reports have pegged him as a potential above-average defender.