Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton Questions Team’s Drive
By Ehsan Kassim
After an off-season of hype surrounding the team, including a Giancarlo Stanton mega extension, the Miami Marlins are off to a slow 3-8 start to the season. Part of the problem has been the offense struggling to put any consistency together. A lack of strong pitching has been another problem.
Stanton, who hit his second home run of the season on Friday night, was not happy after the Marlins’ latest loss and ranted a little to the media.
"“We’re not really giving ourselves a chance, it feels like,” Stanton said. “We’ve got a positive vibe, but [something] is just not there. The fire is not there, it seems like. You always want to have it. But when you’re out there, and it’s game time, it’s just nothing there — it seems like.”“We’ve got to get it done,” Stanton said. “There is no, ‘Hey, this is going to make us click now. This is going to do it for us now.’ We’ve got to go. There is no time for that.”"
I believe Stanton is trying to light a fire in the Miami Marlins’ players in hopes of getting the team out of their current rut. The Marlins started their 10-game road trip with a series win over the Atlanta Braves, with flashes of what the team envisioned to be doing with their offense catching fire.
In their first 11 games, the Miami Marlins have already been shutout twice and have scored 6 or fewer runs 6 times. In their 3 wins, the Marlins average just under 7 runs. In their 8 losses, the Marlins have scored just 2 runs per game.
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A major reason why the team’s offense has not going it because of the lack of consistent hitting from their regulars. Dee Gordon has been the only player this season that has not slumped for the team yet, as he has been on base at least once in every game this year, but two. His .333/.354./.444 slash line has been impressive thus far.
Giancarlo has the best line on the Marlins, slashing .243/.391/.486, but most of his success has come over the past 4-5 games, rather than consistently like Dee.
Other than Stanton and Gordon, no Marlin regular has posted a wRC+ of 100 or higher. Martin Prado and Michael Morse are the closest at 95. Christian Yelich sits at 67, Adeiny Hechavarria at 74, Marcell Ozuna at 61, and of course Jarrod Saltalamacchia at 36, who has been benched.
Behind the Marlins 8 starters, the team lacks depth on the bench, with guys like Reid Brignac and Donovan Solano being the main names manager Mike Redmond turns to in key situations.
Stanton, trying to become a clubhouse leader, is trying to light a fire in his teammates. That is a great thing to see, as he’s not content with just collecting his gigantic check and sitting back, even while the team struggles.
Baseball is not won or lost by one player, so Stanton needs to get his teammates going. Hopefully they follow his call and catch fire tonight, as the Marlins now have to try to salvage a series split against the New York Mets.
Next: Marlins-Mets Series Preview