Florida / Miami’s “C” Team Wouldn’t Lack for Excitement

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 3 : Infielder Luis Castillo #1 of the Florida Marlins bats against the Baltimore Orioles during their spring training game on March 3, 2005 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Florida Marlins 8-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - MARCH 3 : Infielder Luis Castillo #1 of the Florida Marlins bats against the Baltimore Orioles during their spring training game on March 3, 2005 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Florida Marlins 8-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Of the 590 players in total who have appeared with the Marlins, 46 have had last names begin with the letter “C.”

A few days ago, we checked out the “A” team and the “B” team. The A team was ok, but the B team had a really great rotation, with Mark Buehrle, Kevin Brown, John Burkett, A.J. Burnett, and Josh Beckett.

The “C” team has a rotation as bad as the B team’s was good, but they’ve got a great looking lineup.

"As for the methodology of picking the “starting” lineups and rotations, it was a bit of a mix between total playing time and either OPS+ or ERA+ depending. Slightly more weight was given to the advanced metrics than the number of plate appearances, within reason. – Me, yesterday"

All-Time Team

Leading off and playing in center field, Chuck Carr. Although not in the inaugural Opening Day lineup, Carr was an original Marlin, and did appear in that game as a pinch hitter. From then through 1995, Carr appeared in 353 games for Florida, hitting .256/.320/.326 with 115 stolen bases, including a National League best 58 in 1993.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 1994: Chuck Carr #2 of the Florida Marlins. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images) /

At second base and batting second, Luis Castillo. The first of two such named players in the Marlins’ extended system, this one is their all-time leader with 1128 games played. He hit .293/.370/.356 with 20 homers and 271 RBI, also collecting franchise-best figures with 533 walks, 42 triples, and 281 stolen bases.

Starlin Castro bats third and plays shortstop. I know he preferred second base during his two Miami Marlins seasons, but he had no choice but to step to his right with Castillo on this version of the club. In 316 games, Castro hit .274/.314/.418 with 34 round-trippers and 140 RBI.

Miami Marlins
KANSAS CITY, MO – JUNE 17: Miguel Cabrera of the Florida Marlins. (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Miguel Cabrera got most of his early-career defensive reps at third base, but for the C team, he’s posted in right while batting cleanup (due to Jorge Cantu‘s inclusion on the club). From 2003 through 2007, Cabrera earned a World Series title and was named to four All Star teams, hitting .313/.388/.542 in 720 games with the Marlins.

Cantu bats fifth and plays third base. In 401 games over two-and-a-half seasons, Cantu hit .278/.330/.450 with 55 home runs and 249 RBI. Unfortunately, he fielded at a .925 clip at the hot corner, but was passably sufficient when moved to first base.

Miami Marlins
16 Jul 1995: First baseman Jeff Conine of the Florida Marlins. Credit: Glenn Cratty /Allsport /

But Cantu wouldn’t play first base very much with Mr. Marlin on the team. Batting sixth and playing first base, Jeff Conine. In 1014 games through parts of eight seasons with the team, Conine hit .290/.358/.455 with 120 dingers and 553 RBI. Conine, along with Castillo and Hanley Ramirez are the only members of the Marlins “1000 hit” club.

Former National League Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan bats seventh out of right field. In 128 games in 2009, Coghlan won the award by slashing .321/.390/.460 in 128 contests. After that spectacular start, however, Coghlan hit just .242/.307/.352 over the next four seasons.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI – SEPTEMBER 4: Pinch hitter Ramon Castro #17 of the Florida Marlins. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images) /

Backstopping for the rotation is catcher Ramon Castro, batting eighth. A backup backstop for most of his time with the Marlins, Castro appeared in 207 games over six seasons with the team. He hit .212/.296/.365 while throwing out 35.7 percent of basestealers.

The bench is made up of outfielders Garrett Cooper and John Cangelosi, along with infielders Gregg Colbrunn, Craig Counsell, and Hee-Seop Choi.

Rotation

Number one starter Jared Cosart leads the rotation as their de facto “ace.” Although he only started in 27 games for the Miami Marlins, Cosart’s 100 ERA+ leads the group of five. He was 6-10 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.350 WHIP from 2014 through 2016.

Miami Marlins
4 Mar 2000: Reid Cornelius #38 of the Florida Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

Reid Cornelius backs up Cosart as the number two starter. With 23 starts to his credit, Cornelius pitched in 1999 and 2000 for the Marlins, going 5-10 with a 4.61 ERA. He struck out 50 batters in 125 innings, holding down a 1.427 WHIP and racking up a rotation-second-best 96 ERA+.

Picking up the third spot, the 2001 Marlins third most-durable starter, Matt Clement. In 31 games that season, Clement was 9-10 with a 5.05 ERA. He struck out 134 in 169 1/3 innings, with a 1.518 WHIP and an 84 ERA+.

Miami Marlins
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 27: Starting pitcher Adam Conley #61 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Adam Conley starts fourth. With 56 starts to his credit, he ranks as the most prolific starter on this squad. Of course, he’s since joined the bullpen and pitched in an additional 118 games. Overall, he has collected 358 K’s in 414 1/3 innings and racked up a 1.422 WHIP to land on an ERA+ of 82. In his five Miami Marlins seasons, Conley is 25-30 with a 4.82 ERA.

Rounding out the rotation is Wei-Yin Chen with a 13-19 record and a 5.10 ERA. In 53 starts and 49 relief appearances, Chen struck out 299 batters in 358 innings, while surrendering a 1.327 WHIP.

Bullpen

Fifth on the Marlins all-time leaderboard with 284 appearances out of the bullpen, Steve Cishek saved a franchise-third-best 94 games and posted a 2.86 ERA over six seasons from 2010 through 2015. Cishek whiffed 312 in 289 2/3 innings to go with a solid 1.222 WHIP.

Randy Choate pitched in 98 games in 2011 and 2012, striking out 58 in 50 innings in total.

Miami Marlins
WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 4: Kiko Calero #40 of the Florida Marlins. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Kiko Calero appeared 67 times for the Florida Marlins in 2009, going 2-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 69 whiffs in 60 frames.

Dennis Cook, making his seventh of ten major league stops through his 15-season career, pitched in 59 games for the 1997 World Champs, going 1-2 with a 3.90 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.

Carter Capps, who had a 167 ERA+ in 2014 and 2015 for the Marlins, issued 83 K’s in only 51 1/3 innings for a brilliant 14.6 K/9. The six-foot-five right-hander never collected a save in his five season career, but I think he probably should have during his time with the Fish.

Cris Carpenter was an original Marlin and pitched a scoreless eighth in their first ever game. Through the first half of the 1993 campaign, he had a 2.89 ERA in 29 games, with 26 K’s in 37 1/3 innings before getting traded to the Texas Rangers.

Jose Ceda pitched 29 innings for the 2010 and 2011 Florida Marlins, striking out 23 and finishing with a 4.66 ERA.

World Series Impact

The 1997 Florida Marlins had Cangelosi (103 games, .245/.321/.302, one homer, 12 RBI), Castillo (75 games, .240/.310/.270, eight RBI, 16 SB), Conine (151 games, .242/.337/.405, 17 homers 61 RBI), and Counsell (51 games, .299/.376/.396, one homer, 16 RBI), along with Cook.

Miami Marlins
8 Mar 1998: Outfielder John Cangelosi of the Florida Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /

In 2003, Cabrera hit .268/.325/.468 with a dozen homers and 62 RBI in 87 games. Castillo, still with the team, hit .314/.381/.397 in 152 games, with six homers and 39 RBI. Castro played in 40 games and hit .283/.333/.605 with five homers and eight RBI. Conine, back for the second time and the second-oldest on the club at 37, hit .238/.337/.452 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 25 games.

Up-and-Coming

Francisco Cervelli is poised to make his Marlins debut at the age of 34. Right-handed reliever C.J. Carter has 99 whiffs in 84 1/3 minor league innings. Daniel Castano came over in the Marcell Ozuna trade, and went 7-2 with a 3.35 ERA for the Jumbo Shrimp last season. Top 100 overall prospect Jazz Chisholm hit .308 and provided a few defensive gems in Miami’s Spring Training.

This version of the club could score some runs, I’ll tell you what. But every game would be like, 15-13. Pitching wins games, and if Cosart’s your ace, you have some problems. Thanks for reading.

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