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2013 Marlins Season Review: The other first basemen

The Miami Marlins did not rely on too many other players at first base in 2013, but the ones whom they did play did not perform well either.

Greg Dobbs ponders the most interesting of thoughts as he strikes out at the plate.
Greg Dobbs ponders the most interesting of thoughts as he strikes out at the plate.

The Miami Marlins played 84 games in 2013 with a player other than Logan Morrison at first base. Of course, Morrison was not very good this year, but his replacements in the early season were not impressive either. The Fish struggled at first base with Morrison, but they were among the most destitute teams in the first base position without him. Overall, Marlins first basemen hit just .236/.306/.344 on the season, which ranked as second-worst among first basemen league-wide in OPS+, ahead only of the Milwaukee Brewers' crew.

The Fish sent one well-known secondary option at first base, and Marlins fans will be happy to know that he will be returning in 2014 to play significant playing time.

Greg Dobbs
Marlins, 2013 PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA fWAR rWAR
Greg Dobbs 267 .228 .303 .300 .265 -0.4 -0.2

The #MostInterestingManInBaseball had another terrible season in 2013, and it was his worst season as a Marlin. The Fish turned to Dobbs to start 47 games at first base this year, and that indeed was his most agreeable defensive position. The problem was that his bat continued to waver between merely "bad" to "awful." Dobbs's .228/.303/.300 line was tied for the 29th-worst batting line among players with at least 200 plate appearances in 2013, right next to Tyler Flowers and fellow Marlin Juan Pierre.

Dobbs failed at every aspect of hitting. His BABIP dropped from the .320's to .263 this season, which caused his batting average and OBP to collapse. Dobbs's home run rate and power dropped dramatically, as his ISO of .072 was the lowest of his career. He only hit two home runs this year, the lowest amount in a season with more than 200 plate appearances in his career.

Defensively, Dobbs was limited to more games at first base, which prevented him from being a horrific defender. Still, as a first baseman, he barely contributed on the defensive side of the ball, though at least the Fish learned from last year's mistakes and did not try him too often in the outfield.

Ed Lucas
Marlins, 2013 PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA fWAR rWAR
Ed Lucas 384 .256 .311 .336 .289 0.7 1.5

We will get to Ed Lucas in a little while, but suffice to say that the Fish were desperate enough to rest the ailing, struggling Morrison that they turned to Lucas for 19 starts at first base. The 2013 season was not a fun one.

Casey Kotchman
Marlins, 2013 PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA fWAR rWAR
Casey Kotchman 21 .000 .048 .000 .033 -0.5 -0.7

Kotchman's line probably did not deserve mention, except that he ended up starting Opening Day for the Fish and was injured one game later, getting knocked out for a strained hamstring. He made three starts in a series after that and immediately suffered an oblique strain that kept him out of the lineup again. By the time he was ready to return, the Fish activated him and waived him from the 40-man roster immediately afterward.

Joe Mahoney
Marlins, 2013 PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA fWAR rWAR
Joe Mahoney 29 .276 .276 .414 .300 0.0 0.1

Mahoney was the other player the Fish could have used to replace Morrison at the start of the year, but he too suffered from injury issues. He too fell to a hamstring injury that kept him out for an extended period. but he never returned to the big leagues after that.