Mattingly to consider using 'opener' to pitch games

Marlins manager keeping an open mind

(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

JUPITER, Fla. – Marlins manager Don Mattingly is keeping an open mind heading into spring training.

As pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter on Wednesday, Mattingly said he's open to the idea of using an "opener."

The idea was first introduced by the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays would start the game with a member of the bullpen and fill out the rest of the game using the whole staff.

This was to compensate for the Rays' lack of established starting pitchers.

"There hasn't been a ton of talk about using an opener-type situation," Mattingly said. "But, obviously, we've seen what Tampa was able to do last year. Oakland followed it up a bit. It worked."

Mattingly added, "It may sound outside the box, but when something works, it will become something that teams consider using."

Mattingly said the Marlins will use anything they can that helps the team win.

The Marlins lost 98 games last season.  They traded their best player, J.T. Realmuto, to a division rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.

A radical idea like an "opener" may be what the Marlins need to help level the playing field against more stacked competition.

About the Author: