The 2021 Miami Marlins are a disappointing team. Every day it seems that we are losing another game and if it wasn’t for the Washington Nationals being so much worse, we would’ve been a last place team in the NL East. Was the team that badly constructed? Was Kim Ng that bad as the GM? The answer is bad luck and a ton of it, on top of questionable moves by Ng.
The Miami Marlins should’ve been a lot better this season.
The Miami Marlins had a pretty imposing bullpen going into the season. Anthony Bender was coming off of a 2.79 ERA/3.19 FIP 1.2 WAR season; closer Dylan Floro had a 2.81 ERA/2.81 FIP 1.5 WAR season. There was no reason to expect either to heavily decline, and projecting at least 1.0 WAR from each was reasonable. What did we get? Injuries and a 0.2 WAR from Floro and a 0.4 WAR from Bender. That’s 0.6 WAR instead of a projected 2.0 WAR. Injuries were the cause for both.
The Miami Marlins bullpen also included Cole Sulser, the 2021 Baltimore Orioles closer had a 2.70 ERA/2.98 FIP with a 2.4 WAR. It was reasonable to expect a 2.0 WAR from him for us. He got injured and now has a 5.52 ERA/3.44 FIP with a -0.4 WAR. The FIP implies that he’s a lot closer to last season’s ability. We received a -0.4 WAR instead of a projected 2.0 WAR.
Trevor Rogers was an ace for the Miami Marlins last season, with a 2.64 ERA/2.55 FIP and a 3.5 WAR. Even if you thought that it was somehow a fluke, a 2.0-2.5 WAR was a reasonable projection. Instead we received a -0.6 WAR! That’s a -0.6 WAR instead of a projected 2.5 WAR. The good news is that his fastball velocity stayed the same, and a bad back may have been the culprit. He might bounce back now.
The Miami Marlins needed a catcher and acquired a very good defensive one in Jacob Stallings. Stallings had a 3.0 WAR for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season and 2.0 WAR was once again a realistic projection. Instead, we got -0.7 WAR! Who knows what went wrong with him. Still, that’s -0.7 WAR instead of a projected 2.0 WAR.
Lets look at the big two hitters acquired by The Fish: LF Jorge Soler and RF Avisail Garcia. Soler had a slow start, but then raked over .300 for weeks until he got injured, stopped hitting because of it and went on the IL. The 1.5-2.0 WAR projected slugger now has just 0.4 WAR. I expect him to bounce back next season in what essentially is a contract year, unless he takes a pay cut in half with a player option. Avi was especially bad, he had 2.9 WAR last season, and averaged 1.5 WAR for the last three seasons. Expecting 1.5 WAR was reasonable especially with more playing time. He has -0.7 WAR. Together, that’s -0.3 WAR instead of a projected 3.5 WAR.
I’ll finish this with the recently released DH Jesús Aguilar and 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., Chisholm was on pace for 6.0 WAR prior to his mid-season injury that May have ended his season. He now has 2.5. Aguilar had 1.4 WAR last season, but had -0.5 prior to his release. That’s a -0.5 WAR instead of a projected 1.0 WAR.
Lets put it together: that’s -1.9 WAR instead of the 13.0 WAR we logically expected. Add the 3.0 WAR from Jazz, and we have 16 extra wins. That’s a 71-60 record instead of a 55-76 one.