Miami Marlins kick off their season, with new faces

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Miami Marlins kick off their season, with new faces







© Provided by The Canadian Press



MIAMI – The Miami Marlins have moved heaven and earth to find replacements in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that took their regular squad down, and so they added a Moran, a Morin, two pitchers named Josh Smith and a former Olympic medalist speed skater.

Also among the 18 players who have joined their regular lineup of 30 are outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Jose Guzman, two highly anticipated prospects who have taken part in a Major League game for the first time.

The Marlins ended an eight-day hiatus with a game at Camden Yards on Tuesday night with a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Among the other new faces who have joined the team is pitcher Richard Bleier, who was back in his old home after being acquired from the Orioles over the weekend.

“We are excited to return to the field,” said president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

Starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith have joined Jose Urena on the Marlins’ injured roster, which means three of the five members of their rotation are missing. Eight of their 12 relievers who were present in their opening game are also staying in the infirmary, as is the shortstop Miguel Rojas.

Since more than half of the squad had to be replaced, infielder Eddy Alvarez, a 30-year-old athlete from Miami who won silver in speed skating at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 , joined the newcomers. It was his first game in the Major Leagues.

“It’s a totally new story,” cried Hill.

And there’s this: The Marlins are technically number one in the Eastern Division of the National League.

At 3-1, the Marlins have the best win rate in their section. The teams are only scheduled to play 60 games this season, and some of them may not be able to do so due to unforeseen circumstances associated with the pandemic.

In this case, since 16 of the 30 clubs will advance to the playoffs, the winning rate will be used to decide between them.

The Marlins hadn’t played a game since July 26. After a streak against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Marlins’ season was put on hold due to a coronavirus outbreak in the team.

At least 18 players, and 21 people in the contingent, have obtained positive results.

Tuesday’s game replaced the one scheduled for July 29, which was to coincide with the Orioles’ home opener. They instead faced the New York Yankees.

Steven Wine, The Associated Press

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