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Marlins manager Don Mattingly says team has a lot to prove

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly celebrates with the team in clinching a playoff berth after their win in the 10th inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin) (Corey Sipkin, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JUPITER, Fla. – Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter on Wednesday.

The team is coming off a playoff appearance.

The Marlins earned the Wild Card and beat the Cubs in the first round of the Playoffs.

The Marlins were bounced by the Braves in the Divisional Round.

Manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday, “We still have a lot to prove. And obviously, this division has stacked up. The Braves have been the team that has everybody’s numbers and now everyone is loading up. I think we will be more confident moving forward because of what happened last year. I think that was good for our players. But I don’t think we’re going to come in overconfident.”

Mattingly pointed out that most people picked the Marlins to be in last place or next to last place.

Mattingly said, “Our pitching is still the same. It’s going to be good and it’s probably going to be even better with more experience. I think we did a nice job with our bullpen.”

The Marlins skipper said he has a good idea of who is going to start on Opening Day, but would not announce it yet.

In terms of progress, Mattingly said, “We’re building a club that we think has a chance to get itself into the playoffs and move forward... I think when we say progress, we have to continue to develop.”

For his young players, Mattingly said they don’t really know what the Big Leagues are like, until they get called up and get a taste of it.

As for the bullpen, Mattingly says its deep and there are so many guys who can pitch late in games. Mattingly mentioned Anthony Bass and Yimi Garcia a few times.

Mattingly praised Harold Ramirez but admitted it was a tough decision to let him go as a designated free agent, “He’s just a casualty of us getting better.”

In terms of Covid, Mattingly said just getting into camp has been a battle. The skipper said there have been hurdles, but they’re not different than any other club.

Mattingly said, “This is a black and blue division. This is going to be a grind. I talk about grinding it out all the time, everybody in this division is going to give everybody trouble. You can go top to bottom... It’s going to be a dogfight and I think that benefits us. We have to be the club that takes advantage of everything... Let this division beat each other up.”


About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.