MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have officially landed in Jupiter for the start of spring training, with pitchers and catchers taking the field for the first time Thursday.
The team is pretty confident in its pitching staff, particularly with its young five-man rotation.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
The oldest projected starter is just about 25 years old, so the front office made sure to add plenty of veteran presence to its bullpen.
Sandy Alcantara, last year’s opening day starter, said staying healthy and pitching more than 200 innings is on his 2021 checklist.
That said, becoming a better leader is his top priority.
“That’s what the Marlins are looking for from me, and that’s what I want to, you know, be a leader,” he said.
Alcantara singled out the club’s top prospect Sixto Sanchez as someone he’ll take under his wing.
“Show him how we do it here. Try to teach him what he can do to get better. They want him to be in the Big Leagues for a long time, you know, and I got to help him to be there,” Alcantara said.READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
General Manager Kim Ng and the front office spent much of the offseason adding veterans to the bullpen. Miami was third in the league in save percentage, and hope to sneak up on a few more teams in 2021 with the addition of Ross Detwiler, Anthony Bass, Dylan Floro and John Curtis.
“I think the potential is high. I think we got a lot of guys that can pitch late in innings and get big outs,” Floro said.
“We got guys that can spin the ball really well. We got some high-velo guys. We got some funky guys,” Bass said. “I think we’re going to be a sleeper bullpen, honestly.”
With Brandon Kintzler moving on from the Fish, Miami will be working on finding a new closer.
Floro is hoping to win that job with his new club.
“Anybody that’s in the bullpen, I would think, would want to have that have that chance,” he said. “And I feel like I can do it to help this ball club. I mean, I’ve pitched in a couple big games, here. I mean, I’ve even gotten the chance to like really getting in the ninth inning and really proving myself.”
Some of these new pitchers are happy to be with the Marlins now because they don’t have to face the team’s lineup anymore. Bass said going against the Fish last season was mentally exhausting.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
The rest of the club reports to Jupiter early next week.