The Miami Marlins are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2003. Sadly, The Fish seem to be swimming in injury news lately. It appears that the team is already looking ahead to the off-season. The issue at hand is upgrading at SS. What options are there? What about the current starter Joey Wendle?
The Miami Marlins are looking to upgrade at SS.
Joey Wendle has been a disappointment for The Fish at SS this season. He's batting .222/.257/.323 with just 2 home runs and 20 RBI, in 103 games and 279 AB. He's been worth just 0.2 WAR and is a free agent after the season. It's safe to say that he won't be brought back as a starter. Are there other internal options?
Jon Berti is available on the bench, and could theoretically receive an opportunity to be a starter. He's batting .278/.316/.355, with 3 home runs and 27 RBI in 119 games and 349 AB. He's worth 1.6 WAR and seems to be an upgrade over Wendle. That said, he's much better as a bench player due to his positional versatility. Another option on the bench is Xavier Edwards. We wrote about him recently actually. Xavier is currently batting .292/.292/.354, with 0 home runs and 3 RBI in 18 games and 48 AB.
Xavier is a second baseman, but can play SS. Manager Skip Schumaker had this to say about him:
"He takes really good at-bats. It’s tough to teach ball/strike strike zone judgment. We tried a million things in San Diego and a little bit in St. Louis of trying to teach guys strike zone awareness and strike zone judgment. For me, you either have it or you don’t."
There is also Jacob Amaya waiting in the Minors. Amaya was called up earlier this season and has batted .222/.222/.222 (yes that's his batting line), in 4 games and 9 AB. It's an incredibly small sample size, but he's a very good defender based on his Minor League work. Good defense is vital at SS.
Free agency doesn't offer a lot of good options. Amed Rosario stands out, but is only batting .259/.300/.374 in 132 games and 487 AB. He's been worth 0.3 WAR between the Cleveland Guardians and Los Angeles Dodgers. There's also Tim Anderson (if the Chicago White Sox decline their option on him). Anderson is having a down season, but is a career .282/.312/.424 hitter. I would just focus on defense at the position, and bring in bats at other positions.