Jays From the Couch brings you 2016 MLB Wrap Ups. This time we sit down with Baseball Ranks to chat Miami Marlins
Jays From the Couch is kicking off a little series of wrap ups of teams around MLB. We’ll sit down with writers from all over the league to get their thoughts on teams we might not have been paying attention to in Blue Jays Land. This time: Miami Marlins!
This MLB Wrap Up features a discussion with Joshua Schwager of Baseball Ranks to get his thoughts on the season that was for the Miami Marlins. While, they were hanging around the playoff discussion early on, things faded quickly for this club. And, then baseball became secondary as a team, a city and the entire baseball community mourned the loss of Jose Fernandez.
The Marlins finished 3rd in the NL East at 79-82, 15.5 games back of the Nationals. They were 7.5 games out of the Wild Card spot.
You can follow Joshua on Twitter @BaseballRanks and check him out at Baseball Ranks for all of his work on everything from minor league rankings to major league commentary.
JFtC: If you could sum up the Miami Marlins’ season in a paragraph, what would you say?
Joshua: Words cannot begin to describe this season. Pain, sadness, turmoil, tragedy, loss, apathy, heartbreak. I think most any word you can think of could be applied, to be frank. The Marlins started the year off strong, and all the buzz was about what they could do to get in playoffs then everything began to turn sour. Dee Gordon ended up getting a lengthy suspension; Giancarlo Stanton injured himself, Ozuna lost his mojo, and then… well… Jose Fernandez passed away. So much to look forward to, so much tension, so much promise and then it all faded.
JFtC: What went right for the Marlins this year?
Joshua: I think further maturation of Christian Yelich was a big thing for us. Another real positive was getting to maintain Luis Castillo despite management trying to trade him away for yet another failing Padres pitcher. I also like Braxton Garrett, their first round pick; I think he has a chance to be the second best arm out of the draft.
JFtC: What went wrong for them?
Joshua: I will try to stick away from the obvious because it hurts too much. I think the main thing that went wrong was the Marlins gambled on trading away a large part of their future in Chris Paddack and Josh Naylor only to have the insufferable happen. Now the farm system is just Braxton Garrett and Luis Castillo until players decide they want to break out.
JFtC: Who stood out on the roster?
Joshua: I think the obvious answer is Christian Yelich. He truly is a much better baseball player than the average fan wants to make him out to be. After that, I think you need to look at J.T. Realmuto as one of the best young players in baseball, and that’s saying quite a bit. He has just about every skill you could ask for behind the plate and is a pure athlete.
JFtC: Who went under appreciated?
Joshua: Martin Prado. He is a great defender and came up huge throughout the season on the offensive side of the plate. He ended the season one of four third basemen to bat .300. It was euphoric to see him get a new contract with the team.
JFtC: Who underperformed?
Joshua: This is a tough one. I guess based on the preseason projections the player that underperformed is Justin Bour and the combo of Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena. I fully anticipated that Bour would hit at least 25HRs and see him end up with less than 20 is a head scratcher. Come the midseason mark it has to be Marcel Ozuna. He was a site to behold throughout the first part of the season and then overnight lost all momentum and never caught back up. Outside of Ozuna, I think Fernando Rodney disappointed me. He seemed to blow the games he shouldn’t have and threw a lot of awful pitches. When we sent so much to obtain him, it was a little disheartening to see him underperform like he did.
JFtC: Where does Miami go this offseason? What do they do?
Joshua: This is a hard one. I think you see them trade off Ozuna or an Hech/Gordon to find a pulse in the minors and try to rebuild a little. They also could use starting pitching, and I think the same pieces could be moved to make that happen as well. If they didn’t have Stanton and Yelich on their roster, I would even suspect them to go full rebuild. With that talent on hand though you should take a couple more swings at playoffs and hope magic happens.
JFtC: What can fans expect from the Marlins in 2017?
Joshua: Sadly, more of the same.
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