Miami Marlins’ overview

Miami Marlins’ overview


By Jonathan Anderson Special to ManOn2nd

With about 30 percent of the MLB season left, the Miami Marlins are currently sitting 24 games back from 1st in the NL East, 13 games back from the 3rd Wild Card spot, and 14 games under .500.

Coming into this season with high expectations, such as finishing above .500 and potentially being a Wild Card team, this year has been nothing short of a disaster.

What went wrong? Why should you continue to watch the Marlins? What should we expect for the rest of the season? Let’s start on what went wrong in Miami that brought us to this point.

Injuries Galore 

Miami has faced injury upon injury this season. Now that cannot be used to state why they aren’t competing, but it does seem to be a recurring theme in Miami.

Miami began the year with a top rotation of Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers, Jesus Luzardo, and Elieser Hernandez. Elieser’s struggles were to be expected, but Trevor Rogers’ struggles were not. When Miami made the decision to replace Elieser, each replacement candidate became injured. Luzardo went down with an injury, losing him for about half the season. Edward Cabrera came back to Miami, and shortly went down for an extended period. Max Meyer made his highly anticipated debut, and on his second start, he tore his UCL and went out and got Tommy John surgery.

This resulted in multiple starts by pitchers like Dan Castano and Braxton Garrett, who did perform much higher above expectations. So what injury set the Marlins on this losing trajectory?

One of the key factors in the Marlins struggle was losing their All-Star 2B, Jazz Chisholm Jr. Miami seemed to have mishandled the injury, allowing him to even take batting practice at the All-Star game. Soon after, it was announced Chisholm had encountered a setback on his road to recovery, and it was discovered that he had suffered a stress fracture in his back, removing him from play for at least six weeks.

By this point, Chisholm had already been injured for almost a month, and the Marlins, at least to public knowledge, had yet to do a CT scan until July 22, where they discovered the stress fracture.

Jazz was having a breakout year, resulting in a 2.5 bWAR in 60 games, along with 14 home runs and 12 stolen bases, on pace for a 6.7 bWAR, 38 home runs, and 32 stolen bases, if he kept up his current pace. 

Jazz’s Impact

Without Chisholm, the biggest difference in the Marlins is their offensive output. With Jazz, the Marlins had a relatively league average offense:


68 HR, 92 2B, 11 3B, 266 RBI

175:523 BB:K

Meanwhile, as of a few days ago, when you remove Jazz from the lineup, their offense became arguably the worst in the league:


33 HR, 77 2B, 4 3B, 132 RBI

122:439 BB:K

Jazz is seen as a fire starter in many aspects of the term. His energy, his pace of play, and even his presence in the clubhouse and dugout can help boost this team and boost the offense to be league average, maybe higher. But without Jazz, they falter and drown.

Letting The Kids Play

If you’re a Marlins fan, I don’t blame you for being angry. I don’t blame you for not wanting to attend the games. I don’t blame you for not wanting to watch the games. But, trust me. You should watch the games. After days, weeks, and months of fans begging the front office to let the kids play, it seems they are finally letting the kids play. Whether this be due to injuries or curiosity, the reasoning doesn’t matter. Players like J.J. Bleday, Peyton Burdick, Lewin Diaz, Nick Fortes, and Charles LeBlanc are finally getting their opportunity to shine in the majors. For the most part, they are making their playing time count. 

Fortes has been a revelation in Miami at the catcher position, finally providing a combination of both offense and defense, something that Miami has severely lacked since the trade of J.T. Realmuto. Fortes currently has a 1.1 fWAR, alongside a 114 wRC+, showcasing his ability on both sides of the ball. Fortes has slowly grabbed a majority of the starts for a majority of the pitching staff.

After a slow start, Bleday has started to find his ground in Miami, with a 0.4 fWAR and a 111wRC+, specifically a 150 wRC+ in the month of August alone. His stability in the box and in the field is, again, something that Miami has lacked this season in the outfield. He doesn’t seem overmatched in the box against pitchers, and consistently makes great plays in the outfield defensively.

LeBlanc is an interesting prospect in Miami. LeBlanc arrived after being picked in the MiLB Rule 5 draft this past season, and tore the cover off the ball in Jacksonville. Fans had been pleading for LeBlanc to receive the call to the MLB over the likes of veterans such as Willians Astudillo and Erik Gonzalez. LeBlanc finally received the call and has not disappointed. Since his debut, LeBlanc has a slash line of .410/.425/.590 with a 183 OPS+ and has gotten on base in all 11 games. The biggest issues with LeBlanc is he can struggle to make routine throws to 1B across the diamond, and he currently has a 1:9 BB:K. His bat will play, but he needs to improve on those factors to remain in the MLB. 

Players like Burdick and Diaz either haven’t had enough time in the majors or consistent playtime to be able to analyze their game. Hopefully, Miami will continue to start Burdick and Diaz throughout the rest of the season to see if they have a future in Miami. Both of the aforementioned players are older prospects, at the age of 25, and will be 26 by the start of next season.

Why Watch?

So, as I asked from the start of this article, why should you continue to watch the Miami Marlins? They’re finally letting the kids play. You get to see what potential future Miami has, whether it be bright or not. You get to watch one of the greatest young pitching staffs, alongside the potential 2022 Cy Young winner in Sandy Alcantara. I’m not saying they will win many games throughout the rest of the season, but it could be an entertaining final stretch. Let the kids play.


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