Jul 18, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Ed Lucas (59) throws over to first baseman Jeff Baker (10) during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Marlins currently sport the best outfield in baseball, as far as WAR is concerned. However, that outfield just got a whole lot worse for the remaining two weeks of the season, when anchor Giancarlo Stanton suffered a very unfortunate injury. Stanton will likely miss the rest of the season, and his immediate replacement was Ed Lucas.
Lucas has spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues, and finally received his first shot in the bigs during the 2013 season. Needless to say, Ed Lucas is a much worse player than Giancarlo. When the Marlins traded Jake Marisnick and Colin Moran to the Houston Astros for Jared Cozart, they sacrificed their outfield depth and future at third base for a controllable starting pitcher.
Cosart has been fantastic since joining the Marlins, but losing Marisnick and Moran could prove to be costly in the long-term. The organization has a lot riding on next season as they see the team taking the next step and finally making the post season for the first time since 2003. Jose Fernandez is due to come back after the All Star break, and there have been rumors of Christian Yelich moving to first base, along with the possibility of the team expanding payroll and acquiring another starting pitcher.
The frightening incident on Thursday night proved that the Marlins’ hopes and dreams could be dashed to pieces in a split second. All reports indicate that Stanton should recover and be ready for next season with no major side effects, but obviously you can’t be sure. If Stanton were to be a lesser version of himself next year, or get hurt at any point, this team is not equipped to deal with his loss. Of course, subtracting an MVP candidate from any team is going to hurt, but most teams can come up with a better replacement than Ed Lucas.
The Marlins would be wise to acquire another outfielder during the off-season, and move either Yelich or Stanton to first base. The Dodgers have an overloaded outfield to deal from, and the Marlins could possibly deal from their minor league pitching depth to acquire one of them. An extra outfielder would give them not only a solution to the Garret Jones dilemma, but it would also help them stay afloat in the case of Stanton missing a few games.
Who do you think the Marlins should go after this off-season? let me know in the comments. #GetWellGiancarlo