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Assessing Miami Marlins’ Dreadful Start

MLB, Miami Marlins
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The Miami Marlins‘ dreadful start to the 2024 season saw fall to 1-9 after 10 games. They were baseball’s first 0-9 team since 2016. It is no surprise that the fans were booing them, and there is already chatter about their future. It looks like it is going to be a long season in Miami.

High Expectations Shattered

Last year, the Marlins amazed the baseball world by finishing above .500 for the first time (excluding the COVID-shortened season) since 2009. They went from a 93-loss team to 84 wins and the playoffs. They accomplished that feat while winning 33 one-run games while holding onto a “why not us?” positive culture. Their manager, Skip Schumaker, who won 2023 NL Manager of the Year, brought back an upbeat and communicative clubhouse environment that was sorely missing.

Marlins’ New Players for 2024

New players Tim Anderson and Christian Bethancourt were added to an already-promising starting lineup. Nick Gordon was brought in as a multi-use player with positive clubhouse communication. Luis Arraez and Jazz Chisholm, who finally is healthy, were looking to be the main guys to get on base. Adding full seasons from Josh Bell and Jake Burger providing the power, this team sought to make it to the playoffs again. So far, however, their positive additions haven’t panned out.

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Pitching Injuries for Marlins

To be fair, the team has been hit very hard by injuries, especially on the pitching side. Sandy Alcantara had Tommy John surgery and will not play in 2024. Eury Pérez will also undergo Tommy John surgery and is out for the season. Both Edward Cabrera and Braxton Garrett are dealing with shoulder issues and are on the IL.

Marlins Have an Abysmal Offense

The Marlins’ offense has been abysmal, and while it is early in the season, their .204 team batting average has led to their early season struggles. They are last in the NL in OBP (on-base percentage) and second to last in slugging. They have struck out 71 times as a team in 275 at-bats. As of this writing, their best hitter and last season’s NL batting champion, Luis Arraez, is off to a .194 start.

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Other Numbers

The Marlins’ dreadful start has also seen the defense commit seven errors, the worst mark in the NL. The pitching staff has a 5.64 ERA, ranking near the bottom of the league. Furthermore, their -32 run differential is the worst in baseball.

The Marlins look lost at the plate. They’re swinging at bad pitches and fall behind in the count too often. For the first time in their 31-year history, they were swept in a homestand of seven games or more.

Young Pitchers

As for the pitching rotation, noted injuries are pressing the Marlins into using several young pitchers with minimal MLB experience. Some of them are former first-round picks and know what it takes to be successful. Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is one of the best coaches around when it comes to working with a young staff. This can be a good time for these pitchers to figure it out before becoming reliable options for the Marlins.

Sooner Than Later

The Marlins hope their dreadful start will not last much longer and they’ll be back on track. The good news is that there are still 153 games remaining. Nonetheless, this team cannot fall much farther behind or they’ll have to play catch-up to get into the playoff race. They will need to rely on their offense more than ever before.

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Let’s give guys like Arraez, Bell, and Chisholm some time to find their stride and turn things around.

No matter how you look at it, the Marlins need to find their winning ways quickly. They need to become consistent both offensively and defensively. With a bit of luck and some consistency, however, they can turn things around sooner rather than later. If they don’t, we could see this team start to unload via trades.


Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images

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