WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

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What a difference a year makes.

Hopefully, after 100 losses in 2013, we’ll be saying that at the end of the season too, but as you look at the Marlins’ 2014 Opening Day roster, which was made official this afternoon, it certainly holds true to begin the year.

Only 9 players who were on the Opening Day 25-man roster a season ago, 5 pitchers and 4 position players, will be there tomorrow night when the Marlins take the field against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park.

Jose Fernandez, Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Kevin Slowey are the pitchers who were with the club when they rang in the new year in Washington in 2013. The only 4 returning position players are Giancarlo Stanton, Adeiny Hechavarria, Donovan Solano and Gregg Dobbs.

Only 2 players who were in the lineup on Opening Day last year will be among Mike Redmond’s starting 9 tomorrow night: Stanton in right field and Hechavarria at shortstop.

For old time’s sake, here’s the lineup that was held to 3 hits and no runs by Stephen Strasburg and the Nats in last season’s opener:

Juan Pierre, LF (free agent)

Chris Coghlan, CF (Cubs, AAA)

Giancarlo Stanton, RF

Placido Polanco, 3B (free agent)

Rob Brantly, C (New Orleans)

Donovan Solano, 2B

Casey Kotchman, 1B (free agent)

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

Ricky Nolasco, P (Twins)

One thing that stands out when you look at the 25-man roster is its youth. 10 of the 25 players are 24-years-old or younger, including 4 of the 5 members of the season-opening starting rotation, all three starting outfielders and the regular shortstop.

The 2014 Marlins begin the year with only 7 players who are 30 or older. Carlos Marmol (31) is the only 30-something on the pitching staff (27-year-old Tom Koehler is the only starting pitcher older than 24). 

The club’s senior position players are Reed Johnson (37), Gregg Dobbs (35), Jeff Baker (32), Garrett Jones (32), Casey McGehee (31) and Jeff Mathis (31 tomorrow). Among those 6, only Jones and McGehee are expected to be regular starters.

For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please click the “Follow” button and enter your email address. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

2 Comments

Thanks!! I can’t wait for tomorrow!!

Once Furcal and Lucas return from the DL, we will have a very seasoned bench with Baker, Dobbs, Johnson,Lucas and Mathis. Additional depth at AAA with Solano, Dietrich, Marisnick, Brantly, Flynn, and the AA pitching prospects makes this a much more solid team. Even with the pathetic salary of $44mm. Hopefully we will keep all this talent by allowing the salary to rise as required to keep it.

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