Miami Marlins Morning Catch: Are the Marlins a .500 team?


The Miami Marlins are off to a pretty dreadful start in 2015. After the opening series of the season the team sits at 0-3 and in last place in the National League East. That record looks especially alarming because of the big fat zero, as in, zero wins. But this is by no means the time to press the big red panic button, for there is still plenty of season (really, the whole thing) left to be played.

After the Marlins retooled this winter, baseball pundits had eclectic opinions on the potential and quality of the 2015 club. Vegas and others put them right at the .500 mark. Buster Olney picked them to win one of the two NL Wild Cards. Some thought the Marlins would be good enough to win it all.

So what does this 0-3 start tell the world about the Marlins?

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Absolutely nothing.

Mat Latos will not give up seven runs every start. He will get not fail to make it out of the first inning every time he pitches.

Giancarlo Stanton will hit some home runs this year. Plenty of home runs.

Michael Morse will not always leave 10 runners on the base paths every series.

Taking that point further: The Marlins as a whole will not strand 19 runners over the course of every three games.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia will probably still strike out in every other at bat. Sorry about that one.

Teams lose three consecutive games all the time. Virtually every team does it, every single season. Even the eventual World Series champions will probably drop a few straight games, at least once over the course of the 2015 season.

What makes the Marlins start appear so horrid is the fact that they’ve yet to win a game. Maybe their mid-August slump just reered its head in early April, rendering it that much more noticeable since the season just started and more people are paying attention because of the novelty of the brand new season.

The Marlins put just 19 hits — 17 singles — on the board in the Braves series. That’s pretty bad, and it looks worse right now because almost every hitter’s numbers are skewed to the negative. Most have amassed barely double-digit plate appearances. And it does look bad right now. But things will balance out over the course of the season. The Marlins will win games and be right back in the thick of things. They might just be a .500 team; the experts and computers seem to think so. But they are not a last-place team.

Trust me.

Marlins News from Around the Web:

Mariners, Marlins, Padres slow starts shouldn’t damage high hopes

Lucas Reider, Call to the Pen

I’m normally quick to react and judge teams, especially my own teams, right out of the gate at the start of a fresh season. A three game sample should not generate enough evidence to gauge what a team will be like for the rest of the season. Three games is only about 1.8 percent of the schedule, but the Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres all stumbled some out of the gates this year.

Lofty expectations, however, have me quick to judge three teams that were hounded by the media this offseason. Seattle, Miami and San Diego all showed a ton of offseason promise. But three games into the year finds their combined record being 2-7.

The Padres and Mariners both hold a 1-2 record, succumbing two games each to the powers of Dodgers and Angels, respectively. Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols both showed in their opening series that 2015 may be the year of the veteran first baseman in L.A., going a combined 12-for-22 with six home runs and nine RBI. Click here for full article.

Appropriate reactions to the first 2015 Miami Marlins series

Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins did not play well in their recent three-game series against the Atlanta Braves. This is the most obvious thing that has been said since Tommy Hutton implied that it would have been nice if the Marlins scored some runs in the first inning after going down 7-0 in the second game of the season. You already knew all of this.

The Marlins did not look good in an ugly series against the Braves. They sandwiched one of the worst debuts in Marlins’ history with two tightly-knit contests defined by a distinct lack of offense. When the Marlins did get baserunners, the club failed to capitalize. Much was said about a number of players regarding their miscues. Once again, Opening Day / Night at Marlins Park ended in disappointment more than anything else.

What does this tell us about the 2015 season for the Marlins? Generally speaking, nothing. Click here for full article.

Miami Marlins ‘couldn’t find taker’ for Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Scott Gelman, Fish Stripes

Marlins Manager Mike Redmond is not concerned about the slow start of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. And while the veteran catcher has high hopes for 2015, Miami considered other catching options during the offseason. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the Marlins could not complete a deal because there was not a notable amount of interest in Saltalamacchia.

A Marlins official said the team has no choice but to give it another shot with him because it couldn’t find a taker for the last two years and $15 million of his contract.

Saltalamacchia, 39, posted a .220/.320/.362 battling line to complement 11 home runs and 44 RBIs while serving as the Marlins’ starting catcher. In addition to handling a young Marlins staff last season, Saltalamacchia was also adjusting to the National League. Coming off of a solid 2013 campaign with the Red Sox, the Marlins signed the veteran backstop to a three-year, $21 million deal. Click here for full article.

Fernandez’s focus goes outside the Marlins, into the American dream

Christina De Nicola, Fox Sports Florida

MIAMI — What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?

As teammates exit the home clubhouse at Marlins Park for batting practice, Jose Fernandez sits at his locker contemplating the answer before flipping over the flashcard. It reads: Serve on a jury. He places the card in a pile near his glove and moves onto the next question.

Next Wednesday, Fernandez will undergo a naturalization interview in the hopes of becoming a U.S. citizen. Click here for full article.

Miami Marlins: Justin Nicolino among Opening Day starters Thursday night

Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel

The Marlins’ four full-season minor league affiliates were set to open play Thursday night From highest to lowest: Triple-A New Orleans hosted Omaha, Double-A Jacksonville hosted Jackson, advanced-A Jupiter was the home team in their first meeting against their Roger Dean Stadium co-tenant Palm Beach Cardinals and low-A Greensboro opened at Delmarva.

The starting rotations for the four teams:

New Orleans: LHP Justin Nicolino, RHP Jose Urena, LHP Adam Conley, RHP Andre Rienzo and LHP Pat Misch.

Jacksonville: RHP Trevor Williams, RHP Jake Esch, LHP Chipper Smith, RHP Kendry Flores and RHP Austin Brice. Click here for full article.

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