Instead of asking “What’s on second,” the Miami Marlins could be asking themselves what the team will do with the second spot in the batting order.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro opened his “Inbox” once again to answer questions fans had pertaining to the club. One in particular asked what is the realistic choice for the second hitter in the lineup.
“Manager Don Mattingly has a good problem in filing out his lineup card, because both players have been productive at various spots in the order. If both are healthy, I'd say [Martin] Prado gets the nod, mainly because -- based on last year -- he strikes out less. What we're seeing this year is [JT] Realmuto emerging as an All-Star-caliber player. Like Prado, he can hit the ball to all fields, and he has more home run potential.
“So over the long term, I wouldn't be surprised if Realmuto rises to the second spot. I am curious to see how Prado will hold up. He opened the season in the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, and he dealt with a cramp in his right calf at Seattle.”
Prado made his return to the team in Seattle, which gave the team more veteran leadership in the lineup and on the bench. Realmuto’s start to the season has been one of the bright spots in the first few weeks of 2017.
If Realmuto continues his progression and limits his strikeouts, this could be something Mattingly may change at some point this season.
The Marlins will need both players’ bats to continue to score runs. Miami as a team is hitting the ball better so far this season. Realmuto’s start this year has earned him “Player of the Week” honors for the first week of the season by MLB.