The Miami Marlins have won six of their past 10 games and are looking to flip the script for the second half of the season to make a run at the postseason.
The Miami Marlins (41-46, 3rd in NL East) have not seen the playoffs since it’s magical 2003 World Series run. The 2003 team possessed the perfect mixture of talent, offensively and defensively.
On the mound, they had one of the most feared left-handed pitchers in the game, Dontrelle Willis. He was notorious for a crazy leg kick when he pitched, throwing off the time of some hitters. He posted an incredible 14-6 record and a 3.30 ERA.
The rest of their pitching staff was also unbelievable, and nearly each had 10 wins throughout that season. Offensively, this team comprised of a two-headed home-run monster that included Mike Lowell and Derrek Lee, who each hit 30+ home runs and over 90 RBI’s.
These power bats were surrounded by consistent base hitters Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre, who each hit over .300. Overall, this type of mixture is conducive to a playoff bound team that wants to attain a championship.
What do the Miami Marlins Need to Reach the Postseason?
The 2017 Marlins only display half the picture, which is their offense. Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Justin Bour have managed the Marlins afloat. Each is hitting over .270, with all three having 20 home runs.
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Pitching has been the downfall of this organization, as the team ERA is currently 4.62, which ranks in the bottom 10 of the league. The only consistent starters have been Dan Straily and Jose Urena, who are a combined 14-7, with an ERA of 3.42. The rest of the rotation is a combined 5-17 with an ERA of 6.78.
Thus, there is an immediate need for some starting pitching for the Miami Marlins.
Can the Marlins and Athletics make a trade?
The Marlins should first look to inquire about former all-star right-handed pitcher, Sonny Gray. Though his best years look to be behind him since he went 14-7 in 2015, there is still potential present.
Marlins should be optimistic about him entering his prime at 27 years old. In his last three starts, he has allowed four runs in 21 innings of work. His well-known skillset is the ability to induce numerous ground balls with his 94mph fastball.
His ground-ball rate is significantly higher in comparison to other pitcher’s four-seam fastballs. One of his trademark pitches is his 93mph sinker, which generate a high number of swings, misses, and weak contact.
This could help for a Marlins team that has been fundamentally solid defensively, producing 40 errors in 87 games.
Being one of the five worse teams in the league, the Athletics might look to formulate a trade for one of the Marlins touted prospects such as shortstop Peter Mooney.
He is hitting .299 for the Marlins AAA New Orleans Baby Cakes. For a team that is looking to press the reset button, they could absolutely use some more young talent in their farm system that they can bring up next year.
This could provide a potential spark to the team. Mooney could be the player the Athletics replace Adam Rosales with, who is hitting a meager .233 this season. Another negative is that he is starting to age at 34 years old and showing signs of rust.