Miami Marlins: Shark Bait
Stick a fork in them, maybe even a kabob. The Miami Marlins have collapsed in June the way that the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox waited until September to collapse in 2011. The Fish are unable to be poked back to life and may as well be flushed down the NL East toilet, as their floundering has allowed the other strong teams in the division to leave them in the sand.
The Marlins are 8.5 games out in the NL East, having sunk to a 5-18 record in June after going 21-8 in May and creating enough buzz to hook even fans from South Florida into paying for baseball games; however, it hasn’t been meant to be. The team is hitting .224/.291/.373 in June and the pitching staff has a 5.88 ERA and has allowed a .282/.349/.453 line to opposing hitters. The combination of those stats leave the Marlins with the third worst run differential in all of baseball, though they haven’t been awful, 34-40, thanks to their incredible May.
With all due respect to Logan Morrison, you can blame him for a lot of the Marlins’ struggles. Hitting just .228/.307/.386, LoMo was a big part of Miami’s future. Maybe ownership knew something when they sent him down last season, as his 2011 line of .247/.330/.468 wasn’t all that impressive either. At 24 (he turns 25 in August), Morrison should be a huge part of the Marlins future, but his struggles are cause for concern, but not as much as…
Jose Reyes. That flopping that you hear isn’t just the Marlins, it’s the flop of an overpaid, overhyped player underperforming. Reyes wasn’t worth the contract and he has lived up to concern by posting a .273/.350/.386 line. While he is getting on base and stealing bases (16 steals), he isn’t doing enough to warrant a huge deal. While he is making “just $10 million” in 2012, he isn’t anywhere near his .877 OPS of his contract year of 2011.
The starting pitching has posted a quality start in just 65% of their starts and have a 3.98 ERA overall, but they just aren’t scoring enough runs. A team that features Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Giancarlo Stanton, Morrison, and a solid Omar Infante, should be able to score runs. The incredible amount of speed should be capable of creating runs on its own, but with Ramirez and Stanton in the order, it should only make it that much easier.
Whatever the issue is for the Marlins, they need to get it straightened out. There is a lot of underperforming and a lot of struggling to place blame upon, but the roster is too talented to continue to struggle the way that they have in June. With the NL East being so competitive, there isn’t much time to waste getting back into it before the Miami Marlins have a trade deadline talent cast-off.