Miami Marlins' offensive struggle indicative of inconsistent lineup

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Marlins have scored the fewest number of runs of all of the teams in either league to begin the season. Miami has had to work around several injuries to begin the year and as a result have struggled with runners in scoring position early on.

Joe Mahoney, acquired from the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason, wasn't the Miami Marlins' "Plan A" to begin the season. Logan Morrison was the team's primary choice, though when he injured his knee last season, Casey Kotchman was chosen to be the team's "Plan B" until Morrison was eligible to come off of the disabled list.

With plans A and B both currently on the DL, Miami was indirectly obligated to recall the left-handed hitting Mahoney to play first base when he was healthy enough to begin playing again. Miami did just that on Wednesday, and are hopeful that Mahoney could bring stability to a position where several other players who have never played the position were asked to, at the very least, practice playing it in case of an emergency.

Miami, with one of the league's worst offenses, has consistently struggled to score runs. Juan Pierre has had a hard time getting on base from the leadoff spot, and catchers Rob Brantly and Miguel Olivo have both carried cold bats of late.

As previously noted, Miami's starting pitchers are not the reason that the squad has only won three games and lost its first five series. The Marlins' starters, with the exception of a few poor outings such as the one of Wade LeBlanc against the Nationals, have pitched well enough to win and have been able to keep the team in games.

The bullpen has been the team's primary weakness to begin the year, though the team's inability to score runs on a nightly basis has cost them several games which were decided in the later innings.

Miami has also had a hard time hitting with runners in scoring position when the team had the opportunity to score.

Perhaps the most obvious reason the Marlins have been inconsistent offensively is because their lineup, too, has been inconsistent.

Kotchman began the year hitting in the center of the order, and Giancarlo Stanton began the year healthy.

With Stanton being benched for several games, Miami's lineup was likely significantly easier to pitch to. The Marlins have tried to piece together a variety of different lineups, though none of which has led to a significant amount of runs.

Adeiny Hechavarria was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, and though the young shortstop has spent most of his playing time batting eighth, the Marlins offense will continue to come in spurts as one lineup has yet to prove that it can produce more than one or two runs on a nightly basis.

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