What Might Have Been
Lastly, there will be the curiosity of seeing the Marlins tackle Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson. The Fish reportedly made a concerted effort to trade for him last July, and could have were it not for that disastrous Andrew Cashner trade.
Hellickson started 2016 with Philadelphia, and was well acquainted with Miami, carving them up to the tune of a 3-1 record with a 2.01 ERA across just over 40 IP.
Finishing the season with the Phills resulted in a 12-10 record and 3.98 ERA. The Fish could have really used that production down the stretch.
Hellickson will doubtfully be the target of any trades this season as he is commanding a $17 million salary for the 2017 season. If Hellickson can duplicate his production from the 2016 season, that may not be a bad investment for the Phillies who are already sporting a relatively young staff and team overall.
Both by not having him period, as well as having to face him repeatedly, feel free to lay a lot of the blame for 2016 Marlins misfortunes at Hellickson’s feet. Solving him specifically will be key to 2017 success.
And who knows? Come July, he’s very likely to be dangled again as trade bait if the Phillies are selling. It’s never too early to start scouting.
That’s all for this series Fish fans. See you back at Marlins Park on Friday.