Marlins players, coaches and management posed for their team photos a few hours before Tuesday’s game.
With a new ownership group headlined by Derek Jeter and New York businessman Bruce Sherman ready to take over in the coming weeks pending approval from Major League Baseball, just how many of the individuals in the photo will be back in 2018 remains a mystery.
"I think we’re just all waiting for an opportunity to see what happens and hopefully we’ll meet and assess and do an inventory on areas we need to improve and go from there," Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said.
Hill and Marlins’ president David Samson were among those team officials with the team during Tuesday’s photo shoot.
Outgoing Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was not present.
Hill, who has three years left on his contract, is reportedly expected to remain with the club even with the change in ownership.
Samson reportedly will not return.
Jeter and Sherman met earlier this month with various elements within the organization, but Hill didn’t elaborate Tuesday about how some of those preliminary gatherings went or what the new group’s vision for the franchise will be.
"Those meetings were in-house deals and I think we’ll talk more about that when it’s all official and ownership changes," Hill said.
Less than two weeks remain in the 2017 season for the Marlins, who entered Tuesday’s game on the brink of playoff elimination and 10 games under .500 - likely headed to their eighth consecutive losing season.
It’s left a few lasting memories.
There’s Giancarlo Stanton’s career-best home run hitting season, which stood at 55 dingers at the time of the photo.
There’s Marcell Ozuna following up a breakout 2016 campaign with a more complete 2017 performance at the plate, Dee Gordon with 55 stolen bases as of Monday and Edinson Volquez’s no-hitter in June.
But overall, the season didn’t provide a picture the team would like to preserve for posterity.
"It’s been a year of streaks," Hill said. "You think about the month of May and the issues we had where we couldn’t do anything well. Then we sort of fought our way out of it. Unfortunately then we went on another bad run, which is where we are right now."
Hill cited the lack of pitching depth and poor performance as the major factor that doomed the team’s chances to contend despite a surprising breakout season from Jose Ureña and a solid overall first year with the club for Dan Straily.
Although rookies such as pitchers Dillon Peters and Jarlin Garcia and third baseman Brian Anderson give some hope for the future, and a few bright spots in the minors such as outfielder Braxton Lee have shown promise, organizational depth is another primary need.
"It’s good to see Giancarlo on the field healthy….there’s a lot of good things offensively, but obviously our starting pitching didn’t hold up the way we would have liked it to," Hill said. "It just speaks to the lack of depth that we have in our starting pitching, and obviously an area that we need to improve and improve the overall depth."
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Marlins activated Chris O’Grady (strained oblique) from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he wants to use O’Grady in a specialist role out of the bullpen initially.
▪ Mattingly said closer Brad Ziegler was ill and not available to pitch Tuesday, but expects him to return by Wednesday.
Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Ureña (13-6, 3.62) vs. Mets RHP Rafael Montero (5-10, 5.08), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.