Five Miami Marlins that need to step up their games in 2015

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Jul 25, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher

Brad Hand

delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros (52)at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Hand

Hand should make the Marlins roster no matter what, as he is out of options and didn’t pitch poorly in 2014. He will have a chance to make the rotation in Spring Training, likely competing with David Phelps for the number five spot. Should Hand get the rotation nod, Miami will need him to pitch like he did the second half of last season while Jose Fernandez rehabs from Tommy John surgery. Fernandez is expected back in June or mid-July, and Hand pitched to a 3.33 ERA in his last five starts of 2014. Those numbers would complement a Marlins rotation that projects to be above-average, with All-Stars aplenty and an excellent offseason addition in Mat Latos.

Hand could also be used in long relief if Phelps, or perhaps someone else, earns the fifth rotation spot. In 2014, Hand started 16 games and appeared in relief in 16 more, so he has experience at both roles. Hand also has the advantage of pitching left-handed and would be the only southpaw in the Marlins rotation if he earned the opportunity.

Next: A Miami backstop. No, not Jeff Mathis. He's hopeless.