It’s only a portion of the 2019 MLB season and there is already a sense the Miami Marlins have hit rock bottom in the National League East.
If there is a belief the Miami Marlins have hit the bottom of the barrel in the National League East, then there is nowhere for this team to go but up. That’s going to be hard to do given the team’s current record of 9-24 and a chance to set a record in futility with a loss on Tuesday in Chicago.
There aren’t a lot of good things to say about this organization except for the arm of Caleb Smith and a young pitching rotation that has shown flashes of brilliance only to be destroyed by a lack of offense. This is not going to be an easy fix.
Marlins veteran Martin Prado will tell you this is a ball club that works hard and prepares for every game like it always has. That’s great about work ethic and drive. But stringing together two or three wins would do wonders to help the environment in South Florida.
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"“These guys are doing that every single day, on a daily basis,” Prado said. “Preparing. This group of guys is willing to do everything that they can to come to the field, and do whatever they can do. Knowledge. Preparation. Putting in the work.”"
The preparation needs to yield results. If things do not turn around soon, the “rock bottom” MLB insider Craig Mish talked about after the 3-1 loss to Atlanta on Sunday could become a reality.
The Marlins need help and need it fast. Here are three ways to temporarily change the culture of this franchise.
Sign Matt Kemp – The Cincinnati Reds released Matt Kemp last week. Immediately there was a buzz over where the outfielder might land. The Marlins are as good a spot as any. Last season he hit 25 home runs while batting .290 and would give the team another veteran bat with power.
Kemp could play in the outfield, where there is a real need for consistency. He could also become the clean-up hitter this team lacks. With injuries already taking their toll on the roster (see Garrett Cooper and Neil Walker who has returned to the lineup), adding Kemp is a solid way to show the front office is committed to trying to turn this season around.
A look to the Minors – Harold Ramirez is tearing up the Pacific Coast League in New Orleans. Monte Harrison is swinging a better bat. Pitcher Zac Gallen owns opposing hitters as a member of the Baby Cakes.
Does this roster need more of a shakeup? I think so.
Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, “[Ramirez] went 4-for-5 on Saturday night, raising his season average to .361. The native of Colombia also has a .415 on-base and .567 slugging percentage, to go with three home runs, 11 doubles, and 12 RBIs.”
If a change is needed in the lineup where multiple players are shifted in and out of the current lineup, it should come from the team’s minor league system.
A change in management? – While I hate to say this, do the current standings and the fact Derek Jeter has expressed how he is not happy with the way the team has played put Don Mattingly’s job in jeopardy?
The Marlins made a move last month to change hitting coaches, which has not yielded better results. The pitching staff is still developing. The lineup is not producing. All of this could be laid at the feet of Mattingly, who has endured three losing seasons since he was hired in 2016.
There has not been any discussion about Mattingly’s tenure this season as of yet, nor has there been a discussion of a contract extension. I’m guessing if the team continues on this slide, there could be a change at some point, but this is purely speculation.