MLB National League Preview: No. 6 Miami Marlins

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Updated: April 6, 2015
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2014 Record: 77-85, 4th in NL East

Projected 2015 Record: 83-79, 2nd in NL East

Recreating the Roster

If the Philadelphia Phillies hadn’t completely imploded last year, the Miami Marlins could have very well been the worst team in their division last season. Apparently, the Marlins weren’t too keen on finishing fourth in their division, as they immediately began rebuilding, telling their fans that they were serious about their immediate future.

How’d they kick off a very impressive offseason? They issued their star player, Giancarlo Stanton, the biggest contract in MLB history. Stanton is now set to receive $325 million over the next 13 years from a contract that will be heavily backloaded to help the team sign major talent. He’s only set to make about $30 million through the first three years of his new deal.

Talk about making a splash.

In November, the Marlins began rebuilding with the addition of right handed pitcher Aaron Crow from the Kansas City Royals.  The Marlins then acquired third baseman Casey McGehee from the San Francisco Giants for right handed pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo. Another push to acquire talent, they sent right handed pitcher Domingo German, first baseman Garrett Jones and right handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the New York Yankees for utility infielder Martin Prado and right handed pitcher David Phelps.

December 11, 2014 may have been their busiest day. A day that saw them bringing in right handed pitchers Mat Latos, Dan Haren and Andre Rienzo, second baseman Dee Gordon and shortstop Miguel Rojas for a handful of prospects.

After giving the starting lineup a complete makeover and adding flare to the pitching staff, it’s no question that the Marlins are definitely in it to win it all this season. However, they’re going to have to make it through an injury-riddled Washington Nationals team for first place in the division, otherwise, they’re just playing for the Wild Card. Which, wouldn’t be ideal, considering you’re sharing a conference with the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and the rejuvenated Chicago Cubs.

Let’s Take a Closer Look

Stanton missed the entire last month of the season due to multiple facial fractures after taking a pitch to the face, and still managed to hit 37 dingers. He would’ve easily made it to 40, possibly 45, had he played the rest of the year. Now the Marlins will most likely have Gordon and Christian Yelich batting in front of Stanton to help with run support. A combined 85 stolen bases in front of Stanton, should leave plenty of opportunity to have runners on second or third base when he steps to the plate.

As a team, the Marlins finished 24th in home runs, 23rd in doubles and 15th in batting average, hits and runs scored in 2014. They were also near the bottom in batting average against, ERA and strikeouts. In other words, it was time for a change.

Do we think the Marlins will go all the way this year? No. Could Stanton finish the year with 40 home runs and 120 RBI? Absolutely. He may just very well be harboring the 2015 National League MVP.

 

Projected Depth Chart (via MLB.com with 2014 statistics)

C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia — .220 average, 11 home runs, and 44 RBI

1B: Michael Morse — .279 average, 16 home runs, 61 RBI

2B: Dee Gordon — .289 average, 34 RBI, 64 stolen bases

SS: Adeiny Hechavarria — .276 average, 34 RBI, 7 stolen bases

3B: Martin Prado — .282, 12 home runs, 58 RBI

LF: Christian Yelich — .284 average, 54 RBI, 21 stolen bases

CF: Marcel Ozuna — .269 average, 23 home runs, 85 RBI

RF: Giancarlo Stanton — .288 average, 37 home runs, 105 RBI

SP1: Henderson Alvarez — 12-7 record, 2.65 ERA, and 111 strikeouts

SP2: Mat Latos — 5-5 record, 3.25 ERA, and 74 strikeouts

SP3: Tom Koehler — 10-10 record, 3.81 ERA, and 153 strikeouts

SP4: Dan Haren — 13-11 record, 4.02 ERA, and 145 strikeouts

SP5: Jarred Cosart — 13-11 record, 3.69 ERA, and 115 strikeouts

 

Photo Credit: (Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America)

Alex Cole

Alex is a 23-year-old MLB writer from Phoenix, Arizona. He’s a fan of the Phoenix Suns in the NBA and the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. You can contact Alex via email at ACole331133@yahoo.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @AlexColeMLBMiLB.

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