With or without ace and reigning National League Rookie of The Year Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins are confident that they can remain competitive. While Manager Mike Redmond was hopeful that "it was just a sore arm," the organization is optimistic about the immediate future, noting the depth of the roster should help them continue to win close games.
Miami began the current roadtrip, a West coast swing that has the squad playing 11 games in 11 days, atop the National League East thanks to an 8-1 homestand punctuated by timely hitting and quality starts. The expectations have continued to rise for the Marlins, and the organization is reportedly in "win mode."
"We really talked about that this whole offseason -- that we weren't just going to go with our prospects," Michael Hill, president of baseball operations, said. "We were going to bring in veterans to support the young, talented core that we have here. That's been the mind-set from Day 1 -- that our goal is always to play until the end, and play into October."
An improved offense led by Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee has fueled the turnaround, and a young pitching staff led by Fernandez helped the Marlins get off to a quick start. While they are thought to still be in rebuilding mode, it is notable that the Marlins recognize the talent they have and the capabilities of their starters in one of baseball's elite divisions.
Instead of getting top prospects Major League time, the Marlins have rightfully allowed those future Major League players to develop properly. Miami hasn't tossed this season aside, either, and proved that winning now is important by designating Carlos Marmol for assignment over the weekend.
After losing 100 games in 2013, the Marlins of the present are stil trying to find their identity. Working around an injury to a franchise player will be a challenge, but Hill remains confident that the Marlins can routinely compete.
"This is a production league," Hill said. "We're going to give the guys opportunities to produce. If they don't do it, that's why we've tried to build as much depth as we can. If this guy doesn't do it, maybe the next guy will step up."