HomeMLB RumorsSchumaker: “Everyone’s On The Table” For Marlins Opening Day Rotation

Schumaker: “Everyone’s On The Table” For Marlins Opening Day Rotation

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Injuries are piling up for the Marlins pitching staff. Entering the spring, the Marlins knew they would have to survive the 2024 season without ace Sandy Alcantara. With Opening Day less than two weeks away, they could also be without Braxton Garrett, Edward Cabrera, and Eury Pérez. Thankfully for manager Skip Schumaker, Miami has rotation depth. That said, with so many injuries all at once, the depth is starting to run out.

Jesús Luzardo will lead the rotation this season. Trevor Rogers hasn’t looked the same since his All-Star rookie campaign in 2021, but he has big league experience and a healthy arm. So does Ryan Weathers. In addition, the Marlins are stretching out former closer A.J. Puk and preparing him for a starting role. Still, that’s only four of the five rotations spots accounted for. If all three of Garrett, Cabrera, and Pérez start the season on the IL, the Marlins will need one more starting pitcher.

Yonny Chirinos, currently in camp on a minor league contract, is an option. He has five years of big league experience, although he has only made 38 starts at the MLB level. The right-hander struggled in nine starts with the Rays and Braves last season, giving up 38 earned runs in 43 1/3 innings of work. Devin Smeltzer is another NRI with recent experience starting in the majors. Over the past two seasons, he has made 13 starts (66 2/3 IP) with a 3.92 ERA. Unfortunately, his 5.54 ERA as an MLB reliever and 6.82 ERA in the minors during that time put a damper on his respectable numbers out of the big league rotation. The Marlins’ 40-man roster is full, so the team would have to make a corresponding move to select either Chirinos or Smeltzer.

Given all the question marks surrounding the back end of Miami’s rotation, fans have begun to wonder if top prospect Max Meyer could make the Opening Day roster. Meyer has already been optioned to minor league camp, and as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery, it seemed like the Marlins were going to take things slowly with the 25-year-old right-hander. However, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald recently asked Schumaker if Meyer could make the big league rotation out of camp. The manager replied: “I think everyone’s on the table.”

That’s far from a guarantee Meyer will make the Opening Day rotation. Still, it’s worth noting that Schumaker didn’t shut down the possibility. Meyer struggled in his brief big league cup of coffee two years ago, but there’s a reason he was the third-overall pick in the 2020 draft, and there’s a reason he remains a top prospect despite the fact that he hasn’t pitched since August 2022. Even if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, none of Miami’s other depth options will stand in his way once he proves he’s ready for a big league role.

In addition to Meyer, Chirinos, and Smeltzer, McPherson mentions Bryan Hoeing as another possibility for the Marlins rotation. Like Meyer, Hoeing is already on the 40-man roster; unlike Meyer, Hoeing is still in big league camp. Hoeing doesn’t have Meyer’s upside, and he profiles more as a long man out of the bullpen. Still, he’ll be capable of eating innings until Meyer is ready for a call-up or one of the injured arms is ready to return.

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