Publish date:

4 MARLINS

Author:

OVERALL RANK 11

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP MIAMI

After the death of José Fernández, they're going to have a cloud hanging over them. No organization can just bounce back from that.... The big question is the rotation. Wei--Yin Chen slots as the No. 1 guy, and as bad as he was last year, I think he'll live up to his $80 million contract. It's clear he was trying to pitch through elbow issues last season. He should be solid—but he's just not an ace to slot against the Syndergaards and Strasburgs.... I don't love the addition of Edinson Vólquez. I saw a big drop in stuff and control—he's no more than a fifth starter.... Adam Conley has a higher upside than Tom Koehler. Koehler is a nice grinder, but Conley, if he can command better, could emerge as a very good No. 2.... In the bullpen the rising star is Kyle Barraclough. He's got an above average fastball and a slider that's good when it's on. When he learns how to command the strike zone, he'll be elite.... This offense is going to win a lot of high-scoring games. Dee Gordon isn't an everyday All-Star, but his speed causes havoc, and he's an impact player on defense.... Christian Yelich is a perennial batting-title threat.... Is there something seriously wrong with Giancarlo Stanton? This will be the telling year, if he'll ever be the same player he was before his head injury. I'm convinced he's never going to be more than a .275 guy. If he doesn't hit 50 bombs, how can he be one of the highest-paid players on the planet? ... They need some young arms to develop, or they're about to go through a rough stretch.

MANAGER DON MATTINGLY

2ND SEASON WITH MIAMI

B--T BA OBP SLG WAR

2B DEE GORDON [DEFENSIVE STAR]

L--R .268 .305 .335 0.8

3B MARTÍN PRADO

R--R .305 .359 .417 3.8

CF CHRISTIAN YELICH [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

L--R .298 .376 .483 5.3

RF GIANCARLO STANTON [TEAM MVP] [INJURY RISK]

R--R .240 .326 .489 2.5

LF MARCELL OZUNA [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R--R .266 .321 .452 2.5

1B JUSTIN BOUR

L--R .264 .349 .475 1.2

C J.T. REALMUTO

R--R .303 .343 .428 2.6

SS ADEINY HECHAVARRIA [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R--R .236 .283 .311 1.2

BENCH

B--T BA OBP SLG WAR

C A.J. ELLIS [NEW ACQUISITION]

R--R .216 .301 .298 -0.1

IF MIGUEL ROJAS

R--R .247 .288 .325 -0.2

OF ICHIRO SUZUKI [DEFENSIVE STAR]

L--R .291 .354 .376 1.5

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

LH WEI-YIN CHEN [INJURY RISK]

5--5 4.96 7.3 -0.7

RH EDINSON VÓLQUEZ [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

10--11 5.37 6.6 -0.8

LH ADAM CONLEY [BARGAIN] [RISING]

8--6 3.85 8.4 1.5

RH DAN STRAILY [NEW ACQUISITION]

14--8 3.76 7.6 4.3

RH TOM KOEHLER

9--13 4.33 7.5 0.5

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH A.J. RAMOS

40 2.81 10.3 1.2

RH BRAD ZIEGLER [NEW ACQUISITION]

22 2.25 7.7 2.2

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

There may be no team in baseball with a larger gap between the quality of its bullpen (potentially dominant) and the quality of its starting rotation (potentially disastrous). For the Marlins to chase down the Mets and the Nationals, Don Mattingly will have to push as many innings as possible to his deep corps of relievers, from David Phelps, Kyle Barraclough and Junichi Tazawa starting in the sixth—or earlier—to A.J. Ramos and Brad Ziegler in the late innings. The Marlins just can't ride their mediocre rotation, tragically missing late ace José Fernández, much past five innings a night.

BOTTOM LINE

Missing José Fernández on and off the field, they don't have the pitching to contend in the East.