The talent is there, but the execution simply is not. The Marlins starters last season put on quite a show, grabbing double digit wins for all 5 starters – 4 of them being rookies.
Yet, this season is off to a rocky start. Don’t think so? Sure, the Marlins are 6-6 and some of those losses could easily be wins if not for dodgey reliever, Jorge Julio. Still, take a look at some of the stats put together by our own MarlinAddict:
Pitches Strikes %Strike BB
Sanchez 108 54 51% 6
Lindstrom 28 15 54% 2
Pinto 4 2 50% 0
Messenger 16 10 63% 0
Gregg 26 14 54% 2
Totals 182 95 52% 8
Those stats are from last night’s starters against the Astros. You can’t expect to beat very many teams by throwing only 52% of your pitches for strikes.
Of course, giving a hitter another chance like the Marlins did to Ensberg last night didn’t help either.
Three of our pitchers have WHIPs over 1.8 (Sanchez, Olsen, Mitre). The Marlins are last in the league with a 1.62 WHIP as a team. It comes down to throwing strikes and having better command of your pitches. The most obvious case is Jorge Julio, who is all but unserviceable these days. Rick Kranitz is stressing, for example, that Olsen use his fastball more in the early part of the game and to just go after hitters.
Kranitz, credited for a lot of the success for the young staff last season, has his work cut out for him this season. He has to teach the pitchers to overcome bad habits and help guide them into growing as professionals. Right now, simply throwing strikes is hurting the Marlins chances to win games.