What the Marlins Rotation Could’ve Been

Photo: CBS Sports

After beating the Yankees in the 2003 World Series, the Miami Marlins, back then known as the Florida Marlins, have not returned to the playoffs. Although they had some great players last decade such as Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Hanley Ramirez, and Dan Uggla, to name a few, they were never able to put together another winning team.

Following a move to a new stadium in Miami in 2012, the Marlins began to look primed to return to baseball dominance, behind an incredible group of young talent. However, poor management at the hands of Mike Hill, the former General Manager and current President of Baseball Operations for the Marlins and the dumbest man in baseball, led to them losing all of their good players and getting pretty much nothing in return. The Marlins are now one of the worst teams in baseball, while their former players are succeeding on other teams.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on starting pitching. Here is what the Miami’s starting pitching rotation could’ve looked like today if things went a little bit differently. I had discussed what the Marlins starting lineup could’ve looked like today in a previous article, and I will look into what their bullpen could’ve been in a future article, which will be out next week.

Jose Fernandez 

Position: Starting Pitcher

Fernandez is the only player in this article who’s departure isn’t the fault of the Marlins organization. Sadly, he passed away after a late-night boat accident in September of 2016 at only 24 years old. The young ace was already a two-time All-Star and had a career ERA of 2.58 along with a 38-17 record, a 1.12 WHIP, and 589 strikeouts. Before his death, he had been dubbed as the next Pedro Martinez. Imagine what he could’ve been.

Luis Castillo

Position: Starting Pitcher

Fernandez is the only player in this article who’s departure isn’t the fault of the Marlins organization. Sadly, he passed away after a late-night boat accident in September of 2016 at only 24 years old. The young ace was already a two-time All-Star and had a career ERA of 2.58 along with a 38-17 record, a 1.12 WHIP, and 589 strikeouts. Before his death, he had been dubbed as the next Pedro Martinez. Imagine what he could’ve been. 

Chris Paddack

Position: Starting Pitcher 

In the midst of a 2016 playoff push, the Marlins traded Paddack to the Padres for Fernando Rodney. Yes, you heard that right. Rodney played in 39 career games for the Marlins and had an ERA of 5.89. Those stats are some of the worst of his career. Fast forward to 2019, and Paddack is now dominating as a rookie with the Padres. With a 3.18 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, 110 strikeouts and a 7-5 record, Paddack looks like a star in the making. He’s one of the best young pitchers in the MLB and will only get better, as he’s only 23 years old. The future ace is likely to make multiple All-Star teams, and if the Marlins didn’t have the unnecessary urge to overpay for an old closer, it would’ve been with them. 

Domingo German

Position: Starting Pitcher

After the 2014 season, the Marlins traded German, pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, and utility man Garrett Jones to the Yankees. Miami got pitcher David Phelps and third baseman Martin Prado back in the deal. Prado struggled—and continues to struggle—with injuries with the Marlins and also has an unfriendly contract. Phelps had a decent year with the Marlins in 2016 but was lackluster in his other one and a half. German, similarly to Castillo, had a good 2017 in limited appearances but fell off in 2019 after a string of injuries. Now, he is improving greatly. So far in 2019, German has a 15-2 record, a 1.12 WHIP, and 117 strikeouts, despite a 4.05 ERA. He surely would’ve been a valuable piece to the Marlins rotation today. 

Trevor Williams

Position: Starting Pitcher

Williams isn’t as good of a pitcher as the other four on this list, but he is still a respectable starter and a great option for the fifth slot of a rotation. In 2015, he was traded to the Pirates for low-level pitching prospect Richard Mitchell. Mitchell never made the MLB, but so far, Williams has had a solid career. Through four seasons, Williams has recorded a 3.94 ERA, a 25-24 record, a 1.27 WHIP, and 329 strikeouts. His best season came in 2018 when he went 14-10 with a 3.11 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and 126 strikeouts. The Marlins have an abysmal rotation, so giving up Williams for a player who’s never made the MLB has not worked out well for them.

Where do you think a rotation of Fernandez, Castillo, Paddack, German, and Williams would rank among other MLB rotations today? For me, it would definitely be in the top five. As always, let me know what your opinions are and if I missed anybody.

If you haven’t read my article on what the Marlins starting lineup could’ve looked like, make sure to check it out. Also, stay tuned for a review of what their bullpen could’ve been. It will be out next week!

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