Apr 12, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek (31) delivers to the plate during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Marlins: A Look at the statistics through 10 games


Yes, the season is just 10 games old and statistics at this point to most people mean nothing. I am not saying that the numbers from the early part of the season have no significance, because they certainly do. Matt Kemp‘s hot start may have him already running away with the NL MVP just 10 games into the season. His numbers so far:

2012

AVG

OBP

SLG

WAR

Kemp

.487

.523

1.026

1.2

 

Now it is obvious that Kemp will not be able to sustain those type of numbers for the entire 2012 season, but keep in mind, this was almost a 9 WAR player according to Fangraphs just a season ago, so Kemp having a monster season is not out of the question. He just will not be doing it at the level he is producing now. But a 10 win season is not out of the question for the 27-year old slugging center fielder.

Matt Kemp, though, has nothing to do with the Miami Marlins. Lets take a look at some of the Marlins performances in the first 10 games of the season.

 

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is interviewed by Fox Sports West reporter Jaime Maggio after another big game for the MVP runner up in 2011. (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE)

Pitching & Defense:

The Miami Marlins 2012 season was supposed to be built on their starting pitching, excellent bullpen, and their defense. That has not been the case early on. Ultimate Zone Rating has the Marlins ranked as the second worst defense in all of baseball currently.

Juan Rodriguez had a similar article on the Marlins defensive struggles early on, he based his stats on The Fielding Bible series authored by John Dewan.

So far in 2012, the Marlins are at minus-13. The only other teams with negative double-digit runs saved totals are the Yankees (minus-11) and Nationals (minus-10). Dewan says the rule of thumb is 10 runs equals a win, so because of defense alone you can figure the Marlins have cost themselves 1.3 victories.

The Marlins’ worst defensive positions so far: pitcher (minus-4) and shortstop (minus-4), followed by third base, center field and right field, all of which are at minus-2 each. The only two positions on the positive side of the ledger: first base and second base (plus-1) each.

The Marlins defense is certainly something the team is going need to improve on. One of the best ways to do this would be, as I have suggested in the past, to move Logan Morrison to first base and find a trade partner for Gaby Sanchez. Morrison cannot handle left field and has been a liability in his time out there.

The Marlins pitching has not been too strong early on either. With their ace, Josh Johnson, struggling, the Marlins have been a middle of the pack pitching rotation. If Johnson can bounce back over the next few weeks, the Marlins will be fine starting pitching wise. Johnson has struggled, but his numbers suggest that improvement is on its way.

 

2012

K/BB

ERA

FIP

BABIP

Johnson

1.67

8.38

2.78

.488

 

Johnson’s career BABIP is .299, so with heavy regression towards that ridiculously high BABIP, Johnson’s ERA numbers should regress back towards where his FIP sits right now. ZiPS actually projects Johnson to post a 2.69 ERA and a 2.55 FIP for the rest of the season.

Unless his struggles continue, it is not yet time to panic about JJ’s slow start. If we are still talking about his struggles a couple of starts from now, then it will be time to worry. Johnson also mentioned that he and pitching coach Randy St. Clair may have found what was missing for JJ in his first two starts. Before he throws, Johnson taps the ball into his glove. Johnson has not done that in his first two starts:

“It’s frustrating because I didn’t catch it before, but that’s part of it,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you miss some things and you have to work through some stuff and battle through it. The bullpen session [last week] was a lot better. Everything was just easier. Everything just happened instead of me forcing it to happen.”

 

Miami Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire talks to Johnson. (Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE)

 

The Marlins best starter thus far has been their most consistent pitcher over the past two seasons. That pitcher would be Anibal Sanchez. He is in a contract season and since the Marlins have not offered him any sort of extension, he is looking like he is ready to hit the jackpot as he will have a chance to enter free agency.

Early on, Anibal Sanchez has picked up on his 2011 success, his best season. Here is an early look at Sanchez’s numbers after two starts:

 

2012

IP

ERA

FIP

BABIP

Sanchez

12.1

2.92

2.32

.289

 

The one thing that Sanchez has not provided the Marlins with in his first two starts is himself working deep into games. Sanchez threw 95 pitches through 6 and 1/3 innings his first time out and threw 104 pitches in 6 innings his second time out. The Marlins will need him to be able to be able to go deeper into games. It should also be noted that Sanchez missed most of spring training with a shoulder injury. ZiPS projects Anibal Sanchez to post a 3.68 ERA and a 3.26 FIP the rest of the season.

 

I am not going to cover all the Marlins starters in this post. I just wanted to look at the Marlins two best starters and how they are faring. We will take a look at the new comers and Ricky Nolasco at a later date.

Now for the Marlins bullpen. That has been nothing short of a disappointment thus far. Ryan Webb, Heath Bell, and Edward Mujica have all struggled in their appearances so far this season. Webb and Mujica have been plagued by the long ball and with more games at Marlins Park, should show some improvement. Heath Bell on the other hand has been a disappointment. The Marlins signed Bell to a 3-year $27 million contract during the off-season. With that contract, it would be near impossible for Bell not to be a disappointment, no matter how well he pitched.

Bell, though, has struggled out of the gate. He will get plenty of opportunities to correct himself, as the Marlins will ultimately want to make sure that their free agent splash is not a bust, but it maybe something Marlins fans need to monitor and worry about a little. Here is a look at Bell’s numbers early on:

 

2012

Saves

ERA

FIP

BABIP

Bell

0/2

12.00 8.89

.467

 

Yes, Bell’s BABIP is ridiculously high, like Johnson’s, but his struggles are more then that. Bell gave up a deep home run to Jay Bruce in Cincinnati, he has struggled to throw strikes, and when he does throw strikes, they are big fat pitches over the middle of the plate. If Heath Bell continues to struggle, it will be interesting to see how the Marlins handle their closer situation. The best candidate would be Steve Cishek. More on that later.

 

 

That is a look at the statistics of a few of the pitchers. I will have a look at the hitters statistics later today or tomorrow.

 

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Tags: Anibal Sanchez Edward Mujica Featured Gaby Sanchez Heath Bell Jay Bruce Josh Johnson Logan Morrison Matt Kemp Miami Marlins Ricky Nolasco Ryan Webb Steve Cishek

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