As the calendar has officially flipped to 2014, the past 12 months for the Miami Marlins can now be put into the record books as the team can now look ahead to Spring Training. While the year 2013 was pretty terrible for the Marlins organization as they finished with 62-10 record, doesn't mean that there hasn't been memorable and even positive moments for Miami.
So as we wait until the pitchers and catchers head to Florida on February 14th, lets take a look at the five more memorable events of 2013 in the attempt to try to find the most important moment of the year for the Marlins.
Jose Fernandez Wins NL Rookie Of The Year
On November 12th, the BBWA awarded the 21 year old Jose Fernandez with the National League Rookie of the Year award. As the first Marlin to win the award since Hanley Ramirez in 2006, Fernandez was one of the main positive lights on an otherwise horrible 2013 season. Finishing the season with a 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 3.22 K/BB ratio, Fernandez was not only the most powerful rookie pitcher in baseball but one of the arms in the entire league.
Miami Signs Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a three-year/$21 million dollar deal
While Salty hasn't played a single inning in a Marlins uniform, the simple acquisition of the veteran catcher was still an extremely crucial moment for the future of this team. Since the '03 World Series season when Ivan Rodriguez manned the Marlins backstop, the team has always had above-average (aging Paul Lo Duca in '05) to terrible (Jeff Mathis and Rob Brantly duo in '13). While Saltamacchia has never been the most consistent hitting catcher since his rookie year in Atlanta, the following .273/.338/.466 split line was appealing enough for Miami to give him that solid contract.
Henderson Alvarez Finishes 2013 Season With No-Hitter
This moment happened when the majority of the baseball world (and even Marlins fans) probably checked out on the 2013 season but seeing the promising Henderson Alvarez throw a no-hitter against the mighty Detroit Tigers was still an incredible moment.
Debut of Christian Yelich
Going into the 2013 season, the trio of Marcell Ozuna, Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich were some of the more excited faces for Miami fans as they looked into what the future might bring for the team's offense. Now as we go into the 2014 season, Yelich has moved past and even lapped the other two promising young outfielders as the 22 year old rookie shined as an extremely effective offensive player. Despite being added in mid-July, Yelich finished 3rd on the team (behind Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton) with a 1.7 WAR which is solid for a young rookie.
Ricky Nolasco Traded To LA Dodgers
While the Miami fans optimism was directed towards the aforementioned trio, a lot of the team's focus in the earlier portions of the 2013 season was centered around the future of then Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco. The anticipation for Nolasco's move really didn't pay off as he was sent to the LA Dodgers in return for relievers Josh Wall, Steven Ames and Angel Sanchez. More than six months after the deal, Steven Ames had a handful of appearances before being replaced by Arquimedes Caminero, Wall is now a member of the Angels and Sanchez struggled in Single A Jacksonville.