Miami Marlins

A look at the Marlins’ Opening Day roster as they begin Season 2 of their rebuild

Marlins manager Don Mattingly on 3B prospect Brian Anderson

Mattingly talks about the progression of third baseman prospect Brian Anderson, who played in the majors for the first time last season.
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Mattingly talks about the progression of third baseman prospect Brian Anderson, who played in the majors for the first time last season.

The Miami Marlins open the 2019 MLB season on Thursday with a four-game series against Colorado Rockies.

Here’s a closer look at the 25 players who comprise the Marlins’ Opening Day roster.

Position players

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Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro (38) looks on before the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Jorge Alfaro — C

Age: 26.

Birthplace: Sincelejo, Colombia.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/225.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Alfaro spent most of his time in spring training working in the background after a pair of right knee injuries, but the Marlins had been optimistic about his progress despite playing just five games. The team acquired Alfaro from Philadelphia as part of the J.T. Realmuto trade in early February and anticipate him being their everyday catcher.

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Miami Marlins catcher Chad Wallach (17) eyes on the baseball during practice before the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Chad Wallach — C

Age: 27.

Birthplace: Yorba Linda, California.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/230.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Wallach is the only catcher other than Alfaro on the Marlins’ 40-man roster and will be primarily used as a bench player and backup catcher as long as Alfaro stays healthy. Wallach actually started for the Marlins on Opening Day last season but only appeared in 15 games, with Bryan Holaday serving as the main No. 2 catcher in 2018.

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Miami Marlins first baseman Neil Walker takes up his position during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Jeff Roberson AP

Neil Walker — 1B

Age: 33.

Birthplace: Pittsburgh.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/210.

Bats/Throws: S/R.

Of note: Walker, a veteran offseason signing, should get the bulk of the playing time at first base. Walker has hit double-digit home runs in each of the past nine seasons and ranks seventh among active switch hitters in career home runs (141).

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Miami Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro (13) hits a single during the first inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Starlin Castro — 2B

Age: 29.

Birthplace: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/230.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Castro will hold his spot as the Marlins’ everyday second baseman for the second consecutive season. He batted .278 with a team-best 165 hits in 154 games last season.

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Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas (19) throws to first base to put out Houston Astros right fielder Jake Marisnick during the second inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in Jupiter, FL . DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Miguel Rojas — SS

Age: 30.

Birthplace: Los Teques, Venezuela.

Ht./Wt.: 5-11/188.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: For his career, Rojas has been the utility infielder whose value came mainly on defense. After a strong showing in 2018 in his first year as an everyday starter that continued into spring, Rojas should spend most of his time at shortstop this year.

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Miami Marlins infielder JT Riddle (10) throws to first base during the first full-squad spring training workout on Monday, February 18, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

JT Riddle — SS

Age: 27.

Birthplace: Frankfort, Kentucky.

Ht./Wt.: 6-1/188.

Bats/Throws: L/R.

Of note: Riddle will share time at shortstop with Rojas and is hoping to build on the fact that he had a full offseason this year. Riddle’s spring training in 2018 was limited due to offseason shoulder surgery and tendonitis later on.

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Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson (15) runs into third base as he is out during the first inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Brian Anderson — 3B

Age: 25.

Birthplace: Edmond, Oklahoma.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/198.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: After finishing fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018, expect a big year out of Anderson. He’ll likely be the Marlins’ most consistent hitter and regularly bat second in the lineup.

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Miami Marlins left fielder Curtis Granderson (21) designated hitter reacts after striking out during the first inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Curtis Granderson — LF

Age: 38.

Birthplace: Blue Island, Illinois.

Ht./Wt.: 6-1/199.

Bats/Throws: L/R.

Of note: Granderson provides a veteran presence on a young roster and is looking to show he has gas in the tank to continue his MLB career into a 16th season. He will platoon in left field, generally only playing against right-handed pitching.

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Miami Marlins’ Lewis Brinson dives into third for a stolen base during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Jeff Roberson AP

Lewis Brinson — CF

Age: 24.

Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale.

Ht./Wt.: 6-5/206.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: The Marlins are hoping for a rebound year from Brinson, who hit just .199 but was sound defensively in his first full major-league season. He showed strides in spring training.

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Miami Marlins left fielder Garrett Cooper (26) hits a single during the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Garrett Cooper — 1B/OF

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Torrance, California.

Ht./Wt.: 6-6/230.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Cooper was a surprise in spring training after making just 38 plate appearances in 218 while dealing with wrist injuries. The question remains: Can he continue that success heading into the regular season? He will likely spend most of his time in right field.

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Miami Marlins designated hitter Rosell Herrera (5) runs to first base after hitting a single during the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Rosell Herrera — INF/OF

Age: 26.

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Ht./Wt.: 6-4/198.

Bats/Throws: S/R.

Of note: Herrera will serve as the Marlins’ utility backup. He’ll likely see the bulk of his action in the outfield, but expect to see him at second, short and third on rest days.

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Miami Marlins first baseman Martin Prado (14) looks on before the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Martin Prado — INF

Age: 35.

Birthplace: Maracay, Venezuela.

Ht./Wt.: 6-0/217.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Injuries derailed Prado’s production over the last two seasons, with him playing in just 91 games. With the Marlins oving on with Anderson at third base, Prado will come off the bench and get spot starts in the field.

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Starting pitchers

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Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena (62) pitches during the first inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Jose Urena

Age: 27.

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/206.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Urena will be the Marlins’ Opening Day starter for the second consecutive year. He’s hoping for better results this time around, though, after giving up a home run on the first pitch of the season and lasting just four innings.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Trevor Richards (36) pitches during the first inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Trevor Richards

Age: 25.

Birthplace: Aviston, Illinois.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/190.

Bats/Throws: R-R.

Of note: Richards is poised for a breakout year. His changeup is one of the best in the major leagues, his fastball is serviceable and he added a curveball and cutter that looked good in spring.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez (49) pitches as Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) looks during the first full-squad spring training workout on Monday, February 18, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Pablo Lopez

Age: 23.

Birthplace: Cabimas, Venezuela.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/200.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Lopez added velocity to his fastball and command to his offspeed pitches this offseason. He also looks fully recovered from a right-shoulder strain that shut him down for the last month of the 2018 season.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) pitches during the third inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Sandy Alcantara

Age: 23.

Birthplace: San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic.

Ht./Wt.: 6-5/185.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Alcantara has a five-pitch mix, highlighted by a four-seam fastball that tops out at 98 mph. He’s young, but his ceiling is high.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Caleb Smith (31) pitches during the first full-squad spring training workout on Monday, February 18, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Caleb Smith

Age: 27.

Birthplace: Huntsville, Texas.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/205.

Bats/Throws: R/L.

Of note: An impressive rookie season ended with lat surgery in June. Not even nine months later, Smith and his swing-and-miss stuff looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. How the Marlins manage his innings will be key.

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Relief pitchers

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Miami Marlins pitcher Sergio Romo (54) pitches uring the third inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in Jupiter, FL . DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Sergio Romo

Age: 36.

Birthplace: Brawley, California.

Ht./Wt.: 5-11/185.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Opener. Closer. Middle-inning reliever. Romo has the personal and athletic makeup to handle it. The Marlins aren’t using a traditional closer, but expect Romo to handle a bulk of “high-leverage” situations.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Adam Conley (61) pitches during the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Adam Conley

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Redmond, Washington.

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/201.

Bats/Throws: L/L.

Of note: Conley’s average fastball velocity increased by 5.5 mph last year after the Marlins moved him to the bullpen. He has been steady since and can serve as both a setup guy and closer.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider pitches before the start of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, March 7, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Drew Steckenrider

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Atlanta.

Ht./Wt.: 6-4/238.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Steckenrider, like Conley and Romo, will get his share of save opportunities this year as one of the veteran pieces of the bullpen.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Riley Ferrell (35) pitches during the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the New York Mets at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Riley Ferrell (IL)

Age: 25.

Birthplace: College Station, Texas.

Ht./Wt.: 6-2/200.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Ferrell is a Rule 5 draft pick and must stay on the 25-man roster or else he will be sent back to the Houston Astros. A solid spring training, however, ended with him being shut down in the final days with bicep tendinitis.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Tayron Guerrero (56) pitches during the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in Jupiter, FL . DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Tayron Guerrero

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Bocachica, Colombia.

Ht./Wt.: 6-7/214.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Guerrero’s fastball hits 100 mph and makes hitters swing and miss. That’ll be enough as long as he maintains his command.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (20) pitches during the first full-squad spring training workout on Monday, February 18, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Wei-Yin Chen

Age: 33.

Birthplace: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Ht./Wt.: 6-0/193.

Bats/Throws: R/L.

Of note: The Marlins moved Chen from the starting rotation to the bullpen, where he will likely be used as a long reliever.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Austin Brice (37) throws at the bullpen during the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Austin Brice

Age: 26.

Birthplace: Hong Kong.

Ht./Wt.: 6-4/235.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: The Marlins claimed Brice off waivers in February and he impressed enough to win one of the final bullpen spots.

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Miami Marlins pitcher Tyler Kinley (39) pitches during the sixth inning of a Major League Baseball spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in Jupiter, FL. DAVID SANTIAGO dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Tyler Kinley

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Plantation.

Ht./Wt.: 6-4/205.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: Kinley was with the big-league club late in 2018 and could serve as a middle-inning reliever.

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Reliever Nick Anderson is using his troubled past as a learning lesson to reach the majors. Joseph Guzy Courtesy: Miami Marlins

Nick Anderson

Age: 28.

Birthplace: Crosby, Minnesota.

Ht./Wt.: 6-5/195.

Bats/Throws: R/R.

Of note: The Marlins acquired Anderson form the Minnesota Twins in November. A solid spring training results in him getting the chance to make his major league debut this year.

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.

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