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Miami Marlins: Why Derek Dietrich Needs to Play More

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In another Marlins loss, it was the offense that struggled, yet again. The lone run came from Derek Dietrich‘s seventh inning homer off of Ian Kennedy. Dietrich has become somewhat well-known among Marlin faithful, but not as recognizable as he should be. Miami’s lefty super-utility player has been scratched from lineups throughout the year, which hasn’t been due to injury, and cannot be because of performance.

This tweet came yesterday from Marlins’ MLB.com beat reporter, Joe Frisaro. While I can understand the logic he’s coming from, I still believe Miami should be starting Derek Dietrich.

Without a doubt, the current Marlins offense struggles mightily, especially without Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton. Add Marcell Ozuna to the inactive list and the offense has just five every day starters, leaving second base, centerfield, and right field open. Let’s glance over the options at said positions.

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It doesn’t take detailed examination to discover who the outlier among these options is. Derek Dietrich simply provides the Marlins with the best chance to win. Not only does he hold the highest WAR number, but he leads the group significantly in batting average and on-base percentage. He also proves to be the only power resource of these options, one which would fit well in a power-depleted lineup.

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In the forty days Dietrich has been up at the major league level in 2015, not counting the all-star break, he has started just 21 games. Not only does he own the best batting average among bench options, his average also leads all starters, with Dee Gordon sidelined. The same can be said for his on-base percentage, which skyrockets past any of the starters’ OBP. Finally, Dietrich continues to improve, owning a .371 batting average in July.

For a team in need of offensive production, Derek Dietrich seems like the inevitable candidate to help solve Miami’s scoring issue. However, limited use of Dietrich has restricted the improvement of the Marlins offense. In the MLB, players aren’t just given playing time, they earn their playing time. Derek Dietrich has earned his playing time, it’s about time he’s given it.

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