Forecast: National League preview

5. Miami Marlins

David Schoenfield: After 2012's spend-and-splurge strategy flopped, the Marlins returned to being the Marlins in 2013, dumping salary and playing kids. The offense was historically abysmal, averaging 3.17 runs per game and getting shut out 18 times and held to one run 27 times. The good news: Jose Fernandez emerged as one of the best pitchers in the majors in his rookie season, beating out Yasiel Puig for NL Rookie of the Year and finishing third in the Cy Young voting. He makes the Marlins worth watching every fifth game. The young outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna should be exciting and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones will provide more power, but the offense remains subpar. Still, an underrated rotation that features hard-throwing Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez, both 24, could actually be pretty good and get the Marlins close to .500.

Dan Szymborski: Lost in the turmoil of yet another Marlins fire sale was that the team's starting rotation last year was actually quite respectable. Of the team's six most-used starting pitchers, five actually prevented runs at a better clip than a league-average pitcher. What made this team a doormat was the offense, scoring barely three runs per game, a dreadful tally that was actually incompetent on a historic level. The Marlins will score more runs in 2014 with a healthy Giancarlo Stanton, the addition of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and some low-risk signings among the scraps of the free-agent market (Rafael Furcal, Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones). It won't be enough to push the Marlins into being serious contenders, though, even with significant contributions from some of their high-level prospects such as Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. It might push them up to 70 wins, but the long-term outlook for Miami still looks bleak without an owner willing to make long-term investments in the team.

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