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

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May 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher

Dan Haren

(14) reacts after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman

Eric Chavez

(12) at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Haren

The Marlins have always been enamored with veteran players with previous track records of success who are proven “winners” and are “tough matchups” or whatever intangibles their scouts look for in a player. The Dan Haren they got in the Dodgers trade is not the Dan Haren that anchored rotations a half-decade ago. This Dan Haren is a bottom of the rotation arm with a high 80’s fastball that relies on the defense behind him and big ballparks to keep fly balls in the yard. He still eats innings, and that might be his most valuable asset to the Marlins as they try to stay afloat with their ace returning from surgery in a few months.

There’s also that whole ordeal that Haren didn’t want to pitch in Miami and threatened to retire if he didn’t get traded back close to his home in California. He finally gave in and committed to being a Marlin in 2015, and as I wrote last week, he will have to pitch his way out if he truly doesn’t want to be in Miami.

For the Marlins, a season of the Dan Haren of old would be a huge boost to the team. Miami will need consistent good starts from the question marks in the rotation behind Henderson Alvarez and Mat Latos. And Dan Haren didn’t pitch badly last year; He had a 4.02 ERA and 4.09 FIP in 186 innings with the Dodgers. That would have been the second-most innings pitched of any Marlins starter last season. The Marlins would be just fine with those same numbers this year, but for the team to get over the hump, they’ll need even more from Dan Haren.

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