With the 2021 MLB season starting in less than a month, the Marlins have a lot of choices to make. I will detail my prospective answers to these questions. Here they are:
- Where does Garrett Cooper fit in Miami?
- Who starts at 2nd base between Jazz Chisholm and Isan Diaz?
- Who will be the 5th man in the rotation?
In this article, I will be answering question 2. With a well-balanced roster, the Marlins have one position that seems to be the only one truly “up for grabs.” 24-year-old Isan Diaz and 23-year-old Jazz Chisholm are currently battling it out in Spring Training for the title of Marlins second baseman. A lot of the conversation I have seen has been variations of the question “Who deserves the spot?” That is not the correct question to be asking, especially with only Spring Training to go on. Because, simply put, neither “deserve” the spot at the moment.
Let’s keep in mind that both Isan and Jazz hit below .200 throughout the 2020 season. Neither has had significant success within the majors up to this point in time. So for that reason, I’ll argue that this decision should not be made based on Spring Training performance, but rather predetermined based on fit.
Isan Diaz should be the Opening Day starter and here’s why:
Isan Diaz is the Marlins future second baseman
Isan Diaz is a second baseman and, for years to come, this is the position that he should be playing. He has an extremely high upside and is looking more like the player that the Marlins watched in the minors. He has been quoted saying that he “has his confidence back.” Whether or not that is true, Isan has the potential to be a key piece on a budding perennial postseason competitor in the coming years.
Jazz Chisholm is not
Now, that does not mean Jazz Chisholm isn’t any of these things, He, much like Diaz, has an extremely high upside that can’t be ignored. He is also the future of the Miami Marlins… but not at 2nd base. He is a true shortstop and should be groomed to replace Miguel Rojas when the time comes. Until then, he should be getting reps at shortstop in the minors. Once he is ready, he can be brought up to be a platoon man/pinch hitter.
The Marlins don’t have much to go on.
Neither player has had enough time in the majors to be classified as “statistically stronger” for the role. So, this decision for Miami can either be based on a biased sample of performance in the Minors and Spring Training, or it can be based on logic. From my perspective, the choice is an easy one. Let both Isan and Jazz develop at the positions that they are meant to play. Adjustments can be made if necessary, but for Opening Day, having Isan Diaz at 2nd base is in Miami’s best interest.