Bold prediction for the Miami Marlins?!
By Neil Raymond
Opening Day is here! The Miami Marlins will be trying to return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2020 season. My expectations for the season may be a bit optimistic, but anything can happen in a season. The 2021 San Francisco Giants are the perfect example of that. In fact here are some bold predictions for what just might. MLB.com published an interesting article about some bold predictions for the season of their own...
The Miami Marlins are expected to be a better team in 2023.
Christina De Nicola (the Miami Marlins writer for MLB.com) correctly stated that The Fish had a poor record in 2022 due to injuries (to basically every starting position player), and giving AB's to prospects in the second half. The Miami Marlins were also extremely unlucky in one-run games. So unlucky in fact, that it's hard to call those results anything more than a fluke.
Christina projects The Fish to have a .500 record in 2023. This is basically an 81-81 record. Interestingly, Fangraphs projected something similar during Spring Training. I think that it's a pretty reasonable expectation and in fact think that it could even be improved upon. It might be optimistic to expect more than that, but I believe in Bryan De La Cruz and Jorge Soler having big seasons that aren't projected by analysts.
I don't understand why so many analysts are ignoring De La Cruz's breakout in the second half of las season. I believe that it's legitimate and that he will continue to turn into a star and middle of the order bat this season. Soler is in his contract year, and I think will have a big year in order to get a payday on the open market in the winter. Considering his inconsistency and health issues, he will be especially motivated to have a big year.
Jorge Soler will also be helped by being the designate hitter, as his defense is unfortunately atrocious. A big year from Soler would play a major role in The Fish being able to remain very competitive and earning a playoff spot in 2023.