The Marlins were 23-24 in their last 45 games. They can show more improvement if these players play better in the second half of 2019.
The Miami Marlins have 74 games remaining to make a difference in the 2019 season.
After a 33–55 first-half record, this is the team that has played better of late but still resides in the cellar of the National League East division. The Marlins are playing 23-24 baseball in their last 47 games. I’m sure most fans in South Florida would take that any day.
I said this last week, but I really believe this is a team that could be a spoiler. The pitching staff is returning to form. The lineup should be stronger, with players coming back from injury, and there is a little bit of spark in the middle of the lineup, given players like Brian Anderson have been hitting the ball better.
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I don’t think it’s a stretch to say if this team played .500 baseball for the remainder of the season, it would be a vast improvement over the 2018 version of the Marlins.
If that is to happen players must step up and show improvement. Here are three players I have singled out who need to have a better second-half to the Marlins season.
Garrett Cooper – I have to wonder what kind of season Garrett Cooper would have had he not been on the disabled list multiple times this season. The outfielder has eight home runs and could be approaching 20 dingers if he was just able to remain on the field.
The Marlins never gave up on Cooper, who start out slow, got injured like he did last season, I just had to fight to get healthy. Like Caleb Smith, if he proves to be one of the top offensive threats for the Marlins, the trade the tea made with the New York Yankees last off-season may become the best move they made in the Derek Jeter era.
Trevor Richards – The 10 losses Trevor Richards suffered in the first half of the season aren’t indicative of the way he has been pitching. While he has been caught up in endings that have hurt him, he has proven to be an innings eater for the team.
What Richard’s needs more than anything is the Marlins to start swinging a bat again.
It’s the storyline we all have been writing about during the first half of the season. Solid pitching doesn’t get the run support it needs and therefore the rotation looks worse than it is.
If the Marlins were to trade one of their starters from the rotation, Richards might be the one to go. There’s plenty of speculation about Smith as a potential trade chip. Personally, I think Richards is the forgotten man in the rotation, which makes his status uncertain.
Adam Conley – remember the time when Adam Conley was being considered for the closing role on the Marlins pitching staff? Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. Now, the middle reliever has a 7-plus ERA and has cost the team games during the first half of the season.
There is still hope for Conley, who has experience as a starter as well as a long reliever and set up man. He also still has value for a playoff contender looking for an addition to their bullpen.
The Marlins may make changes to their bullpen regardless of whether or not Conley is pitching better. There should be a shakeup with the staff once Pablo Lopez makes his return. A lot of what happens to Conley over the next 74 games really depends on what the coaching staff decides to do with the 13 arms this team carries.