Entering the second half of the 2022 season with a 43-48 overall record (14 GB in NL East, 5.5 GB of WC), the Miami Marlins will have some work to do over the next two months if they want to make it to October.
To do this, obviously it will be key for names such as Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, and Jazz Chisholm to carry over their first half success. However, who are some other names in particular that could be key towards the Marlins potential success in the second half of the season and a potential playoff push?
5 players who are key to Miami Marlins success in second half of 2022 season
Miami’s headline free agent signing from the offseason, Garcia concluded the first half of the season with a -0.8 WAR, the second lowest of any Marlins hitter. Batting .225 with a .579 OPS, a big second half from Garcia will be key for the Marlins lineup in particular, and judging on how the 31-year-old hit across the second half of last season with Milwaukee (.273/.348/.534 with 13 HR), that bounce back second half could indeed happen.
The lowest first half WAR of any Miami Marlins hitter is that of Stallings at -1.1, along with a slash line of .184/.244/.232. Yes, the Marlins have also gotten strong production offensively at the catcher position from Nick Fortes as well, but there is no denying how important it will be for Stallings to return to form in the second half.
The back end of the bullpen could be a position the Marlins look to address at the trade deadline, in particular at closer. The Marlins bullpen however is also close to getting a return from Bender off the IL, a name that could play a key role in the late innings after posting a 4.50 ERA with six saves across his first 16 appearances prior to injury in mid-May.
An All-Star a year ago, Rogers struggled at times across the first half of the season, posting a 5.46 ERA with a 78:39 K:BB across 18 starts. If Rogers were able to return to his 2021 form, it would be big for the Marlins pitching staff overall, as the club could be counting on big second halves from names such as Rogers, Meyer, Luzardo, and Cabrera in particular alongside Alcantara and Lopez in the rotation.
Another prominent offseason signing for the Marlins, Soler posted a similar stat line in the first half to his first half a year ago with Kansas City, slashing .209/.299/.407 with 13 HR. A player who took-off offensively in the second half a year ago with the Braves to post an .882 OPS with 14 HR in 55 games, if the Marlins were to see a similar stretch in the second half from Soler, it would be huge for the Miami offense.