The Marlins made quite a splash this winter, first with inking star Giancarlo Stanton to a record-setting extension, and then signing or trading for a number of veteran pieces, hoping to supplement a solid young core and push for the pennant. That didn’t work out as planned and Miami has been among the league’s worst teams in 2015. Some of those veteran pieces have already been jetisoned, but many are still around with the hopes that 2016 will bring a slightly different story.
Miami has a little bit of room to play with, having only 39 players on their 40-man roster, and they also have the flexibility to move Henderson Alvarez, David Phelps, and possibly Jose Fernandez to the 60-day DL. Fernandez could still return in mid-September, but given that he’s coming off of Tommy John and dealing with a biceps strain, it may be best to shut him down for the winter.
That would give Miami four spots open on the 40-man roster to evaluate top prospects that may not already be on the 40-man. However, it also means they’ll be activating the service clock on some of these players, something the Marlins may be hesitant to do. However, Miami has already begun working in many of those as needs arose. Of those advanced enough, pitchers Trevor Williams (7-9, 3.38 ERA) and Nick Wittgren (1-5, 2.76 ERA, 9.0 K/9) may be worth a cup of coffee to see what they can contribute down the stretch.
Of course, the biggest gain the team will get in September is the expected return of Stanton, who has been out since June 26th with a left wrist fracture. At the time, Stanton led MLB in home runs (27) and RBI (67), and he’ll look to build upon that while trying to get some reps in before the season ends.