Yes, the Marlins are 11-30. Despicable. Deplorable. But is this team really that bad?
The Fish have had tons of injuries. Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Jeff Mathis, Donovan Solano, Joe Mahoney, Casey Kotchman – the list goes on and on. It hasn’t helped this team gain any consistency at all at any point in the season thus far. Not an excuse, but it certainly doesn’t help matters that two of your starters and three of your everyday position players are out.
That said, the Marlins have been able to fill holes – if you can see it that way. Marcell Ozuna has been called up to replace Giancarlo Stanton in RF; Derek Dietrich was brought up to spell some time at 2B for Donovan Solano. Kevin Slowey, Alex Sanabia, Tom Koehler, and Wade LeBlanc have all been valuable in eating innings as starters.
But is the team really as bad as a team that is 11-30? Not really when you look at the stats.
The Marlins are averaging 2.76 runs per game – last in the league. They are last in the league in hits per game (7.41), just below the Nationals (7.51). They are 20th in MLB in surrendering 4.37 runs per game to their opponents. The Marlins have amassed a run differential over the season of -66 runs thus far on the season. That is just -1.6 runs per game differential over the course of the season.
Marlins basically have to find a way to score another 1.6 runs per game to break even on their run differential, which would also push them towards becoming a realistic .500 team the rest of the way out. When you look at the guys they are getting back within the month, they may just get to that point.
Stanton and Morrison, provided the latter can start hitting anything like he did a few seasons ago, may have enough to mix this lineup into something more substantial. When you consider the young guys currently here and hitting (Dietrich, Ozuna) you may have a lot more depth and pop, too. Consider:
- Juan Pierre
- Donovan Solano
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Logan Morrison
- Justin Ruggiano
- Placido Polanco
- Adeiny Hechavarria
- Rob Brantly
You could flip Hechavarria to the 2 spot, or even plop Dietrich in there at 3B (for Polanco) or at 2B. Ozuna could play RF out right, or possibly move to LF (or have Stanton move to LF) to add more pop. All of this before even considering the arrival of Christian Yelich or Jake Marisnick.
Can the Marlins score more runs later in the year and become a more formidable offense later in the year? Very likely. Getting Mahoney and Kotchman back forces Greg Dobbs back into his role as a pinch hitter. The Marlins get deeper.
The Marlins are bad right now – not necessarily a bad team, just a bad team to watch. They can’t score runs and it seems infectious. All it takes is the right addition of hitters in the lineup and all of that could change.