Miami Marlins road to the playoffs in 2023
The Miami Marlins were disappointing in 2022, but 2023 can be a different story. WAR correlates to actual team wins, so using it as an approximate benchmark let’s analyze how the 2023 team can be better. It’s simple… we’ll look at a player’s WAR from 2022 and see what it could be in 2023, then add the difference to get an approximate number of wins. I want to remind you that we were projected to win 80 games by Fangraphs and only won 69 due to injuries and down years.
The Miami Marlins can make the playoffs in 2023.
2B Jazz Chisholm Jr. missed almost half of the 2022 season due to injury, and played through another one, but was still good for 2.4 WAR. If he’s healthy in 2023, it’s not a stretch to expect a 5.0 WAR season. He can certainly do better if he’s not playing through an injury, and he already improved from 2021 to 2022. That’s an improvement of 2.6 wins for the Miami Marlins.
C Jacob Stallings was atrocious in 2022, producing a -0.7 WAR. He produced 3.0 WAR in 2021 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I full expect him to improve, we can at least expect a 1.0 WAR. That’s a 1.7 improvement in WAR. LF (or DH in 2023) Jorge Soler was injured for a big part of 2022, but was bouncing back prior to injury. He has a player option for $9 million for 2024, which is a pay cut from his $15 million salary in 2023. I expect him to have a big year so he can avoid a pay cut and try to cash-in in free agency. He had a 0.4 WAR in 2022, I expect at least a 2.0 WAR in 2023. That’s a 1.6 improvement in WAR.
RF Avisail Garcia had a terrible season with a -1.1 WAR in 2022. He was showing some signs of bouncing back before the season ended, and common sense says that he can’t be that bad again. Let’s project him for a 1.0 WAR, which is still lower than what he had in his recent seasons. That’s an improvement of 2.1 WAR.
SP Trevor Rogers had a down season after his Cy Young caliber 2021. He had a 3.5 WAR in 2021, but a -0.6 WAR in 2022. He was bouncing back to his 2021 self late in the 2022 season, so let’s project a 3.0 WAR, which is an improvement by 3.6 WAR.
CF Bryan De La Cruz was phenomenal in the second half of 2022, and should improve upon his 0.6 WAR with more playing time. How about a 2.0 WAR for a 1.4 improvement in WAR.
Let’s put all of this together: 13.0 WAR. That’s an improvement of 13 wins. This means that 82 wins is a realistic possibility for us in 2023. Of course this doesn’t include hitting acquisitions and further improvements. A 2.0 WAR 3B and DH give us 86 wins (Philadelphia Phillies win total in 2022). If we get a good bat in a trade then it’s another 3.0 WAR, for a total of 89 wins. A better bullpen and we go over 90 wins.