Miami Marlins 2014 Season Preview

03 Mar

Standing O Sports is previewing all 30 Major League teams seasons, division by division, team by team. Up next in the National League East is the Miami Marlins.

What Happened Last Season?
When you lose 100 games in a season, you can’t expect anyone to take you seriously. That’s exactly what happened to the 2013 Miami Marlins who finished with 62 wins and 100 losses, good for 34 games behind the division winning Atlanta Braves. Miami had the worst offense in the bigs last season, and it wasn’t even close.

  • 513 Runs Scored: Fewest in the Major Leagues and 85 less than the next closest team
  • 95 Home-Runs: Fewest in MLB and only team to not crack 100
  • 345 Extra Base-Hits: Fewest in MLB and 65 less than any other team
  • .231 Team Batting Average: Worst in MLB
  • .293 Team On-Base percentage: Worst in MLB

In other words, the 2013 Marlins had one of the worst, inept, and embarrassing offenses the sport of baseball has ever seen.  Hey, at least it can’t get any worse in 2014 right?  Or can it?

Offseason Headlines

The Marlins and General Manager Dan Jennings took a very conservative approach in the off-season only making one noteworthy addition. Other than that, it was filled with several low risk low to moderate reward type moves.

  • Signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia to 3-year $21-million dollar deal
  • Signed Rafael Furcal to 1-year $3 million dollar deal
  • Signed Carlos Marmol to 1-year $1.25 million dollar deal
  • Signed Casey McGehee to 1-year $1.1 million dollar deal
  • Signed Jeff Baker to 2-year $3.7 million dollar deal
  • Extended contract of Garret Jones 2-years at $7.75 million dollars
  • Traded Logan Morrison for Carter Capps
  • Traded Justin Ruggiano for Brian Bogusevic

Take: First off, Furcal and McGehee did not play one inning in the Majors last season. They’re both expected to play everyday and start for the Marlins in 2014. So that’s good. Then there’s Saltalamacchia who for some reason chose to go from playing with the World Series winning Boston Red Sox, to the laughing-stock that is the Marlins. Saltalamacchia grew up just north of Miami in West Palm Beach and if one’s thing for sure, it’s that the weather won’t be a problem so I guess that’s a plus. Clearly, the Marlins aren’t trying to win in 2014, and you can’t really blame them.

Projected Lineup

Rafael Furcal (2B)
Christian Yelich (LF)
Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
Garrett Jones (1B)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
Marcell Ozuna (CF)
Casey McGehee (3B)
Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

Furcal is a low-risk high reward guy at the top of the lineup, but at age 36, his glory days appear to be over. Left-fielder Christian Yelich is just 22 and has only 62 games of big-league experience under his belt. Yelich will be a great player at some point. Whether that happens this year, or next year, or 2-years down the road is unclear. Giancarlo Stanton is the star of the offense, but can’t do everything by himself. Garrett Jones might be the weakest cleanup hitter in the sport, and Saltalamacchia was benched in favor of David Ross last post-season. Ozuna is another one of those young prospects that probably isn’t ready to be an everyday player in the bigs, Casey McGehee could be a nice player, and Adeiny Hechavarria is more of a defensive shortstop than an offensive force.

Projected Pitching Rotation

Jose Fernandez
Nathan Eovaldi
Jacob Turner
Henderson Alvarez
Tom Koehler

As bad as the Marlins will be in 2014, one thing we do know is that once every five days, this team will have as good a chance to win as any team in the game. That’s because Jose Fernandez will be on the mound.

Last season, the 21-year-old Fernandez came out of nowhere to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. He didn’t just beat out Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig for the award, he annihilated him. Fernandez captured 26 of 30 first place votes. He won 12 games, had an outstanding WHIP of 0.98, and held opponents to a .182 batting average. Entering this season, Fernandez is arguably the 2nd best pitcher in the game behind Clayton Kershaw. After Fernandez is Nathan Eovaldi who’s fastball can reach speeds in upwards of 100 MPH. Eovaldi, 24, has just as high a ceiling as Fernandez, but has yet to figure himself out. Following Eovaldi is the 22-year-old Jacob Turner who was once considered one of the game’s top prospects. That was a year and a half ago and Turner is now trying to resurrect himself with the Marlins. Henderson Alvarez is 23, and showed improvement from 2012 to 2013. He threw a no-hitter on the seasons final day last season.  Momentum!!.  The elder statesman of the rotation is Tom Koehler who just isn’t very good. His stuff is more than hittable with is 4.49 career ERA.

X-Factor: Basically Everything
The Marlins have the most inexperienced pitching rotation in the game, and arguably the worst offense on paper. So if Miami is going to be somewhat respectable in 2014, the offense has to score runs at a reasonable clip, and the young pitchers have to develop exactly how the scouts see.

Season Outlook
Sorry Miami. Not this year. If it means anything, there should come a time in the next 5 years or so when the Marlins are competing for a playoff spot. Right now, the offensive talent is severely lacking, and aside from Fernandez, the pitching rotation is too inexperienced.

Frankel: 66-96 (Last in NL East)
AJ: Last in NL East
Mike: 3rd in NL East
Jack: 4th in NL East

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Posted by on 03/03/2014 in MLB


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