Miami Marlins: What we learned in the season’s first week

The Miami Marlins have wrapped up the first week of their season. One word you can use to describe this week is “awful,” because that’s exactly what it was.

The Marlins started off 2015 by getting swept by the Atlanta Braves, a team in all-out rebuild mode. They followed that series by dropping two of three games to the Tampa Bay Rays in Miami. All told, the Marlins posted a 1-5 record in their opening homestand.

In this first week there is really nothing positive that stands out for the Marlins: the offense has been bad and the bullpen has been dreadful. Obviously the Marlins are only six games into the 2015 campaign so this is a small sample size and it’s not smart to judge a team from just six games, but we have learned some things about this team in the first week:

  1. The offense has been horrible. Based on standard metrics the Marlins rank 23rd in offense at the end of this first week. They have a team batting average of .210, an OPS of .544 and a slugging percentage of .259 (!).
  2. The Marlins are not getting on base. They own a team OBP of .289 which ranks them 18th in the Majors.
  3. The Marlins aren’t scoring runs. The club has scored a whopping 15 runs in six games and 10 of them came in Friday’s game. 21 teams have scored more runs than the Marlins this year.
  4. The Marlins also aren’t hitting home runs. With a lineup featuring Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Morse and Marcell Ozuna you would think the team would have at least a few longballs by now. Right? At least five for the first week, right? Nope. What about three? Nope. Okay, come on they must have hit at least one homer right? Yes! You finally got it! The Marlins have hit one home run. The homer came off the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, of all people, in a game that he didn’t even start. Yes, today the Marlins became the last team in baseball to hit their first home run, on the last day of the first week of the season.

Once again, it’s only six games into the season so calm down, Marlins fans. They will hit another home run soon. Now let’s see what we’ve learned or what the Marlins have accomplished pitching-wise:

  1. Starting pitching hasn’t been half bad for the Marlins. They’ve gotten quality starts out of all their pitchers except for Mat Latos‘ dreadful debut where he gave up seven runs in 2/3 of an inning. The other rocky start came today in Henderson Alvarez‘s second start of the year where he gave up four runs in five frames.
  2. The bullpen has been awful to start the year. Miami’s relief corps has already given up 19 runs in just six games.
  3. Steve Cishek has struggled. The Marlins’ closer has appeared in two games and has scuffled both times, blowing a save Friday night and giving up four runs in a non-save situation against the Braves.
  4. The three-through-five starters have been fine. Tom Koehler, Dan Haren and Jarred Cosart have each given the Marlins quality starts. So at least there’s that.

One of the rare bright spots on the team so far has been the defense. Before Giancarlo Stanton’s error in today’s game, the team hadn’t committed a fielding gaffe through their first five games. They entered play on Sunday with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, best in the National League. So they have that going for them.

Once again, it’s only six games. You can’t pass judgement on a team after six games. This team is struggling badly now but they have a road trip coming up with 10 games between the Braves (3), New York Mets (4) and Philadelphia Phillies (3). Those are very winnable division games.

What have you learned about this team so far that I failed to mention? Let me know in the comment section below.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!