All-Star Game selections prove Miami Marlins aren’t far off

MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 30: Justin Bour
MILWAUKEE, WI - JUNE 30: Justin Bour /

Barring a massive turnaround, the Miami Marlins are probably headed toward a number of trades at the deadline. The number of #ASGWorthy players suggests they aren’t far off from being a contender.

It would be difficult to argue that the Miami Marlins aren’t in need of some major overhauls to their Major League club. Namely the pitching staff. With the team likely to be sellers at the deadline, they’d be wise to deal only extraneous parts.

There are a number of players currently on the Marlins roster who are deserving of an All-Star Game nod. Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton are on the roster, their second and fourth appearances respectively. Justin Bour is on the cusp of making his first appearance.

J.T. Realmuto was snubbed from the roster, but has certainly performed well enough to make his first appearance. Then there is Christian Yelich, who has gotten off to a slow start, but undeniably has All-Star talent.

That leaves Miami in a curious situation: How, with four players having All-Star caliber seasons, is the team eight games under. 500? The answer is obvious, their pitching.

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It isn’t a surprise either. Going into the season, there were serious concerns about the lack of pitching depth in the rotation. The tragic death of Jose Fernandez left the team with a dearth of rotation talent. The Marlins addressed the issue by signing Edinson Volquez, and a number of relievers.

It hasn’t worked out.

There has been constant shuffling in the rotation, most recently free-agent signing with Jeff Locke being demoted to AAA. Marquee signings Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler have been ineffective, and have both spent significant portions of time on the disabled list.

Overhaul would be a mistake

The Miami Marlins are out of the playoff picture for the most part. A team that hoped to secure a wildcard spot now finds itself hoping to fight back to the middle. Moves need to be made to improve the clubs chances for 2018, but a complete overhaul would be over-kill.

The lineup is functional. Potent, even. Their 37-45 record is misleading, and largely a result of being put behind the eight-ball by poor pitching. Even a modest improvement on their 4.66 team ERA, which is 11th in the National League, would have resulted in several wins.

There are a number of first and second tier free agent pitchers set to hit the market this offseason. The best course of action is to shed veteran payroll, while keeping the core of the offense together.

Next: Marcel Ozuna tabbed to start in ASG

With two, possibly three All-Stars in their lineup this season, the Miami Marlins aren’t far off. They have enough talent in their lineup to compete for years to come. But offense is only one phase of the game. You can’t expect to win much if you need to score six runs on a nightly basis.