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Where EAST meets the Northwest

New Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng poses for a photo at Marlins Park stadium before being introduced during a virtual news conference in Miami, in this November 16, 2020 file photo. (Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins, File)

February 18, 2021

New Marlins GM Kim Ng eager to finally see her team in action

By Steven Wine

The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) ó Three months into the job, Kim Ng will finally get to see her team.

Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers hold their first workout Thursday at the teamís spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida. The first full-squad drills will be Tuesday.

And Ng, hired in November as the first female general manager in Major League Baseball, will be watching.

"I feel like a kid on Christmas," Ng said Wednesday. "Weíve talked about these guys quite a bit every day for the last three months, and finally I get to see them live ó how they react to situations, how they compete, their demeanor. You get to see them in their element. Iím incredibly excited to meet them all in person and see what they bring to the table live."

Ng joined a long-suffering franchise on the upswing under CEO Derek Jeter after the Marlins made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2003. The achievement came with an asterisk because the season was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Jeter has since stressed thereís much work yet to do to transform the Marlins into a consistent winner for the first time in franchise history.

Ng was hired to help after nine years as an executive with MLB. She made offseason moves to improve the team as she was still learning about it.

"Iím sure it has been a whirlwind for her, getting to know the organization and the personnel," Jeter said. "Itís almost like an orientation for her."

The Marlins, still hamstrung by a small budget, made no big offseason splashes ó aside from hiring Ng after president of baseball operations Michael Hill wasnít retained.

Ng did address the bullpen, which Jeter had identified as the No. 1 offseason priority. She acquired Anthony Bass, Dylan Floro, Ross Detwiler, Adam Cimber, and ó in a trade Wednesday with the Rays ó John Curtiss.

"This pen ó we quietly just keep putting quality guys into it, kind of sneakily almost," manager Don Mattingly said.

Ng also signed outfielder Adam Duvall to a $5-million, one-year deal. Last year for the Braves he hit 16 homers, five more than anyone with Miami.

"We went about the offseason in a very systematic way," Ng said. "You have a plan going in, and it didnít seem that hard to stick to. In terms of targets, we were able to acquire a decent number of them. I thought it was a great offseason for us."

Jeterís group bought the team in late 2017, and he has since built a moribund farm system into one of the best in baseball. Ng said itís even deeper than she thought when she took the job.

Young pitching is the Marlinsí strength, both at the major league level and in the minors. They also have a long list of outfield prospects.

Now, Ng can start to assess it all in the flesh.

"What you see on paper, a lot of times itís just not what it looks like in real life," Ng said. "I definitely need to see these guys and lay eyes on them. All these guys Iíve been hearing about all offseason, I just canít wait to get out there."

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