Rotten Fish: Are the Marlins the Worst Team in Baseball?
The Marlins are scoring just 2.45 runs per game since the All Star Break. They are 29th in all of baseball in runs scored with only 392 runs scored all season.
They are 26th in all of baseball with a .242 team batting average.
The Marlins are 25th overall in baseball with a .308 on base percentage.
Does this sound like a good team to you? Right now, the Fish are horrible. They are not winning games and are only 8-14 since the All Star Break. The biggest problem is that they are not able to consistently score runs and build leads for their pitching staff. They are also not very good at situational hitting with a .229 average with runners in scoring position (RISP) while their opponents are hitting .269. Only 5 of their position players are above that line, with Giancarlo Stanton being the bottom producer with a .271 RISP average. Carlos Lee is the top hitter with RISP at .440 when he comes up in that situation.
The Marlins have made strides in a direction; it is arguable whether or not it is the right direction. Hanley Ramirez was moved because of a prima donna like syndrome. His pay was not matching up with his production either, hitting just .198 with RISP. To be honest, this team has had relatively no one meet an expected production level but there is some good news mixed with the bad. Emilio Bonifacio is looking like a solid member of the offense going forward and getting him to play 2B, his natural position, has many clamoring to make comparisons to Luis Castillo – even if he is going to be out with an injury for a bit. Also, Jose Reyes, despite a poor offensive season, has started to come around in the post-Hanley era with a 22 game hitting streak. The defense up the middle is upgraded and the offensive production is there for the foreseeable future.
There are holes at 3B and 1B, places where you want to get run production. Carlos Lee was a quick fix that didn’t pan out because the rest of his team is not very good. 3B is a huge hole with the trade of Matt Dominguez to get Carlos Lee, and also with the departure of Hanley Ramirez who was supposed to fill that void for the foreseeable future. The Fish did get back a strong prospect in Zach Cox from the Cardinals, but MLB.com has him ranked lower than Dominguez.
Stanton is on his way back from rehab and will get a chance to finish strong in RF. CF has a hole with Bonifacio moving to 2B but Gorkys Hernandez may supply a fast, defensive-minded solution while Justin Ruggiano auditions to be an every day player there. Logan Morrison has been a disappointment in LF and it remains to be seen what kind of a player he will be when truly healthy.
Catcher is a disaster as John Buck is not even over the Mendoza line but prospects Rob Brantly, Kyle Skipworth, and JT Realmuto are vying for the future backstop position.
There are some intriguing prospects on the Fish Farm, but they are most likely a year to two away from getting ABs in the bigs. Christian Yelich is among one of the best prospects in all of baseball and he can play anywhere in the OF; he may be an option to hold down LF or CF. Marcell Ozuna has shown some big time power, but needs more refinement.
The fact of the matter is this team doesn’t hit very well and that is at the root of their problems. They get quality starts and even with the struggles of the bullpen, they are starting to get more consistent as the staff has decided to move away from Heath Bell as the closer. Don’t expect too much towards the end of the season, but let’s hope that this team turns it around in the offseason via free agency. This past offseason they made a splash, but drowned and couldn’t swim.