It’s no secret that the Marlins opening day lineup won’t be a power-hitting force to be reckoned with; the first-year manager has to play around with a lot of situations in his head.
More than anything, his best ideas are based around who is going to give the team a good at bat; someone who can hit in an RBI situation and put the ball in play.
“If they’re going to walk Stanton with a guy on second, we want somebody that can come up and keep the line moving and pick up the hit,” Redmond said. “Would be love a guy to hit a home run? Absolutely, but at the same time too, I’d take a double in the gap.”
Redmond has expressed throughout the last week that he’s not afraid to use the best person against a particular pitcher, or in a particular situation at hand, but he’s leaning in the direction of having a veteran take the workload behind Stanton. Kotchman or Placido Polanco could fit the mold.
“Polanco is a guy who gives you a great at bat but can hit behind a runner [and] drives runs in,” he said. “Kotchman too. He’s a guy who stays within himself. He’s not a home run hitter, but he can slap the ball the other way, he can hit the ball up the middle, he pulls balls when he needs to.”
Kotchman leads the team (min. 30 AB) with a .455 average in the spring.
An established presence, even if it’s a small one, is something Redmond’s young team will rely on once the regular season is underway on the field and in the clubhouse.
“They’re going to be the catalyst for the team,” the manager said of his veterans.
• The Marlins released Chone Figgins. Mitch Talbot, Doug Mathis, J.T. Realmuto and reassigned Ed Lucas to minor-league camp.
• Thursday: Off.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-0, 4.70 ERA) vs. Mets LHP Jon Niese, 1:05 p.m. Jupiter.