A major reason for the Miami Marlins turnaround after a slow start to the season can be attributed to their starting rotation. The Marlins starters allowed three runs or less in 23 of their final 26 games. This allowed the Marlins to go 15-11 in that span.
After Sunday’s loss to end the Marlins first half, manager Mike Redmond announced what the Marlins starting rotation will look like, at least to begin the second half:
#Marlins second-half rotation: Turner, Eovaldi, Alvarez, Koehler, Fernandez.
— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) July 14, 2013
Outside of Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner has been the Marlins most consistent starter since his callup in late May. Turner owns a 2.33 ERA and a 2.89 FIP in 54 innings of work. Turner has struck out just 35 in his 54 innings of work, but his 47% groundball rate has been impressive to say the least. It’s still a major question if Turner can keep this type of performance up in the second half.
Nathan Eovaldi will be slotted as the second starter for the Fish. Eovaldi made his season debut in June, after missing the first two months of the season due to a shoulder injury. He, like Turner, has struggled to strike out hitters, with just 18 strikeouts in his 30 innings of work. While his ERA looks nice at 2.93, his 4.01 FIP shows that regression should be on it’s way. Still, his 96+ MPH fastball is a thing of beauty to watch.
The most recent starter to join the Marlins rotation, Henderson Alvarez, will be the third starter in the Marlins rotation. He has not pitched too well in his first three starts as a Marlin, with a 4.58 ERA early on. His FIP is a much more respectable 2.95, but he has allowed 22 base hits in his 17 2/3 innings of work, while striking out just 10 and walking 6.
Tom Koehler was the pitcher sent down when Alvarez returned from his shoulder injury last month, but will rejoin the rotation for the start of the second half with Ricky Nolasco shipped out to Los Angeles. Koehler is likely better suited for the bullpen going forward, but with patience needed for the Marlins starters in the minors, he will be given every opportunity to prove himself as a starter. The Marlins sure hope he can improve on his 4.70/4.23 ERA/FIP in the second half.
Finally, the Marlins have saved their best starter for last: Jose Fernandez. The decision to push Fernandez back in the rotation is an obvious one, as the Marlins want to get him to pitch as deep into the season as he can. With a 160-165 inning limit, Fernandez will be closely monitored for fatigue in the second half. The rookie phenom owns a 2.75 ERA and a 3.22 FIP headed into the All-Star break, also earning his first all-star appearance.
Slowey will once again pitch as the Marlins long reliever in the second half, a role he excelled in with the Marlins in the latter stages of the first half. Hand is currently on the DL, but the Marlins have enough faith in him to give him another look once he gets healthy. Flynn and Conley both figure to be prominent parts of the Marlins future, so both should get a look in the second half, as well.