The Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton's injury, and the importance of pitching

Jason Arnold

Exploring the importance of the pitching staff after the loss of Giancarlo Stanton to the Marlins offense.

With the most recent injury to outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins' offensive situation is looking even more bleak than before which is rather depressing. Even with Stanton in the lineup, Miami's offense looked to be so bad that it was recently compared to some of the worst teams in baseball history. Now with that said, the team will not only be reliant on the other players in the lineup to step up to the next level but will also be looking at the rotation and bullpen to lead the way.

The 2013 Miami Marlins season is basically a test of futility for every single one of the fans out there because this season is about looking to see what pieces will work as we look into the future. That mentality goes into every single one of the 25 men on the active roster including the dozen or so pitchers. This year will be an audition for those group of players and the stage heated up after the Stanton injury because the team will have more reliance on the players on the mound to help lead the way.

When you take a look at the advanced metrics, Miami's starting rotation is pretty much average to above average. Their FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is 4.05 which is pretty much listed as average. Some of the main proponents of this has been Kevin Slowey, Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez. Kevin Slowey probably has been the best of the trio, not only because of his 3.15 FIP and 1.01 WHIP but for the way he's been able to persevere on the mound without any sort of run support. Kevin Slowey is one of the veteran players who will most likely be looked at once the trade deadline rolls around.

Another player facing a siliar situation to Slowey would be long time Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco. There have been rumblings of a future move involving Nolasco and he's showing the other 29 teams in this league his worth with his solid start to the season. His FIP (3.70) and WHIP (1.10) are extremely solid when you look back at his seven year career. Those numbers seem to waste away after you realize that his run support is lackluster but his performance on the mound can keep the game relatively close.

That sticks with the bullpen who have had their struggles through the season but have been as solid as the starting rotation. Besides closer Steve Cishek who has had his difficulties during the first month, relievers like A.J Ramos, Mike Dunn, Jon Rauch and even Tom Koehler have kept these close games within reach. When you combine and average the FIP and WHIP of these four pitchers, you have find some pretty excellent numbers like a 2.84 FIP and 1.23 WHIP.

Those numbers aside, both the bullpen and rotation has done a very nice job on the mound where the season is basically a wash and the offense has been horrendous. The team's 8-19 record shows that the overall team has been pretty lackluster but a lot of those losses have been in close games. This staff keeps those games close and while I don't see the team being close to .500 this season, there is a possibility that we can muster up some victories because of what the men on the mound were able to do.

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