As I’ve stated on many occasions this offseason, the Florida and Miami Marlins have employed 590 players in a regular season game since their inception in 1993.
During this extended hiatus from live baseball, Marlin Maniac is going to be looking back at history, as we so often do. Going from A through Z, we see that 28 of the 590 Florida and Miami Marlins players had last names that began with A.
A trio of middle infielders beginning with the letter “A” all appeared in over 422 games for the Marlins, but fewer than 438. Kurt Abbott, Alex Arias, and Alfredo Amezaga.
Of the 28 who’s names begin with the letter “A,” 14 were pitchers, including former closer Antonio Alfonseca and swing-man Armando Almanza.
Henderson Alvarez once pitched a no-hitter for the Marlins, and was known affectionately around these parts as “The Entertainer.”
The Florida / Miami Marlins all-time team could count on single-season wonder Moises Alou to get on base and play center field. The eventual 17-year veteran hit .292/.373/.493 with 23 home runs and a team-best 115 RBI before heading to the Houston Astros after the Fall Classic. In his sole season with the Marlins, he made the All Star team, one of the six times he was named to the squad.
Bruce Aven would take over left field. 1999 would be his only season with the Marlins, when he hit .289/.370/.444 in 137 games, with a dozen homers and 70 RBI. That output accounted for more than half of his career figures.
The man at the hot corner is none other than current third baseman Brian Anderson, who in two seasons with the Marlins has also shown the ability to impact opponents from right field. In 307 games he has hit .267/.349/.425 with 31 round-trippers and 139 RBI.
Alfaro is steady behind the plate after his solid if unremarkable 2019 campaign. He hit .262/.312/.425 in 130 games with 18 homers and 57 RBI.
Although he was only five-for-19 with one double and no RBI in eight postseason contests for the 1997 Marlins, Abbott is our starting shortstop. His double-play partner at second is Arias, who represents the Marlins first five seasons of competition with a .265/.335/.342 line and solid defense.
Amezaga only had a little time at first base, but he’s our best remaining candidate to fill in there. In 437 games over parts of five seasons, he hit .255/.315/.339 with 42 stolen bases. That leaves Reggie Abercrombie to play in right. In 146 games over two years he hit .209 and stole 13 bags.
The bench is filled out with infielders Robert Andino and Mike Aviles, along with outfielders Chris Aguila and Jeff Abbott.
2B Alex Arias
1B Armando Amezaga
3B Brian Anderson
CF Moises Alou
LF Bruce Aven
C Jorge Alfaro
SS Kurt Abbott
RF Reggie Abercrombie
Of the 14 pitchers in contention for this particular rotation, only four made starts with the Marlins on the hill. Going by his 122 ERA+, the staff ace is original Florida Marlins swing-man Luis Aquino, a surprising development. Aquino started in only 14 of his 67 appearances with the team, but pitched to an 8-9 record and a 3.51 ERA in 161 1/3 innings of work.
With 51 starts and a 117 ERA+, the number two starter is Alvarez, who was 17-17 with a solid 3.23 ERA. Never a big strikeout guy, Alvarez did whiff 177 in 312 innings while holding batters to a 1.228 WHIP.
Number three starter Alcantara is 8-17 in 38 starts through his career thus far. He has 181 K’s in 231 1/3 innings, with a 1.331 WHIP and a 109 ERA+.
That leaves Jack Armstrong, another original Marlin with the number four spot. He only played one season with the team, way back in 1993, and was 9-17 with a 4.49 ERA and 118 K’s in 196 1/3 innings. Despite a frightening 1.467 WHIP, he led the starting corps with 36 appearances.
1 Luis Aquino
2 Henderson Alvarez
3 Sandy Alcantara
4 Jack Armstrong
Alfonseca is the no-duh closer of the bunch, with 102 saves while with the team. He had a 3.86 ERA and 215 K’s in 333 innings.
Almanza pitched five seasons for the team, and was 13-12 with a 4.9 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 199 frames.
Newcomer Nick Anderson was only with the club for the first four months of the 2019 campaign, but left when the Marlins traded him to the Rays. We also lost Trevor Richards, while acquiring Ryne Stanek and prospect Jesus Sanchez. Anderson’s time with the club resulted in an impressive 69 strikeouts in only 43 2/3 innings, to go with a solid 3.92 ERA and a 1.282 WHIP. Incidentally, he posted a 0.656 WHIP for Tampa Bay after the trade, with another 41 strikeouts in only 21 1/3 innings. That’s a total of 15.2 K/9 for the season, not bad for a 28-year-old rookie.
Manny Aybar and Juan Acevedo combined for only 41 appearances between them, but each had an ERA+ of 169 in a combined 55 2/3 innings. Acevedo accomplished that despite a woeful 1.659 WHIP, while Aybar finished with a solid 1.134.
In all, not such a bad squad. I could see this bunch challenging for a wild card spot in the proposed 21-team postseason despite their short rotation. Not bad, but there isn’t very much depth.
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World Series Impact
The 1997 version of the Marlins counted on Abbott, Arias, and Alfonseca, and Alou to help take home the title. The 2003 team had Almanza pitch in 48 games, and also had a few appearances each from reliever Juan Alvarez and outfielder Chad Allen.
30-year-old Eddy Alvarez is poised to make his major league debut if the season ever gets underway. Recently drafted pitchers Tanner Andrews and Nathan Alexander are rising through the system as well, but likely a year or more off. Power-hitting first baseman Lazaro Alonso seems like he may make an appearance late this year or early next, and Jesus Aguilar could be a 20-homer threat even in a shortened season.
What do you think? Let us know, and thanks for reading.