Miami Marlins owner Bruce Sherman had some encouraging things to say this week. He believes that The Fish can make the playoffs this season. Is that realistic? I do think that the team is much better than it was last season. Bad luck in one-run games and a higher than average list of injuries played a big part in the poor results. Will the Miami Marlins make the MLB Postseason though? Is Bruce Sherman being realistic?
Bruce Sherman believes that the Miami Marlins will make the playoffs in 2023.
"My expectation is to be in the playoffs. Why do you do this? There's no other reason to do this other than make the playoffs and take it all the way. We have the pitching to do that. Nobody wants to face our staff in a short series."
The above is what Bruce Sherman actually said. He's right, the goal is to make the playoffs. The Miami Marlins have been making win-now moves, the team's rotation looks elite and is headed by the reigning NL Cy Young award winner. The hitting clearly needed help and The Fish made moves to fix that, such as acquiring the AL batting champ. I think that while the lineup could still be better, with better health it should definitely be significantly better. As they say "pitching wins championships" and The Fish have that in spades.
What about the competition? The aging New York Mets seem to always find a way to fail and you just can't buy a championship. The defending NL Champs may have added some significant hitting help, but declined significantly on the pitching side and will be missing their best player for at least half of the season. They also only won 87 games in 2022 and needed a hot run at the right time to win the pennant. I can list plenty of examples of teams who won the pennant or even the World Series and then missed the playoffs the following season. Here are some since 2000:
2000 New York Mets (won pennant)
2002 Anaheim Angels (won WS)
2003 Florida Marlins (won WS)
2005 Chicago White Sox and 2005 Houston Astros (both WS competitors)
2006 St. Louis Cardinals and 2006 Detroit Tigers (both WS competitors)
2007 Colorado Rockies (won pennant)
2008 Tampa Bay Rays (won pennant)
2010 San Francisco Giants (won WS)
2012 San Francisco Giants (won WS)
2013 Boston Red Sox (won WS)
2014 San Francisco Giants (won WS)
2015 Kansas City Royals (won WS)
2018 Boston Red Sox (won WS)
2019 Washington Nationals (won WS)
As you can see it's not unusual for a team to miss the playoffs after making it to the World Series. It really wouldn't be a surprise for me if Philly and the New York Mets did worse than expected. There is one more problem though... Bruce Sherman's own work in bringing the Miami Marlins to the playoffs. He needs to be in on the top free agents available. The Fish both need to improve the farm system and be in on the top free agents. Otherwise he isn't doing enough. As far as what he said, he's right and I hope that he does more to make it happen.