The Miami Marlins make a controversial decision on the middle infield

Why is Xavier Edwards up but Tim Anderson is still starting?
Xavier Edwards
Xavier Edwards / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins have a serious problem in the middle infield. The Fish started the season with Luis Arraez at second base, and Tim Anderson at SS. Arraez was a great contact hitter, but terrible defender, who was controversially traded earlier this season. Anderson for some reason is still there despite a horrendous -1.4 WAR (yes, you read that right). Now, something else controversial took place...

The Miami Marlins are starting Tim Anderson over Xavier Edwards.

Hindsight sometimes makes things look vastly different. At the time, The Fish were signing the best available SS on the thin free agent market. Fast forward a few months, and Tim Anderson is so bad that it seems significantly better to just let him go. There's recent precedent for that and it certainly should be followed again. Anderson has no trade value right now and there's no real reason to believe that he can turn things around. His Exit Velocity has continued to drop annually since 2021 and nothing about his underlying metrics hints at a turnaround.

This is why it's been bizarre to see the Miami Marlins demote Xavier Edwards back down to the Minors. Edwards was called up when 2B Otto Lopez went on the paternity list. Now that Otto is back, Edwards is going back to the Minors, but why? He batted a promising .295/.329/.333, with no home runs and 3 RBI, in 30 games and 78 AB last season. This season, he batted .222/.364/.333, with 0 home runs and 0 RBI in 3 games and 9 AB. It was a small sample size however and he had a very promising 92.1 Exit Velocity.

Why not just release Tim Anderson and keep Xavier Edwards to play SS instead? Otto Lopez can be moved to SS too, with Edwards taking over at second base. It seems these options would be preferable to continuing to start the struggling Anderson there. So what exactly is stopping the Miami Marlins from making this change? I wish I could tell you, because it just doesn't make any sort of sense to me. I just don't get it.

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