Giancarlo Stanton may no longer be the Marlins' lone candidate to win a National League honor. Coming off of a 100 loss season, Miami has been much improved in 2014. And as a result, Manager Mike Redmond may be among the favorites to win the Manager of The Year award according to Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel:
In his second season, Redmond has spearheaded a stirring turnaround from a 100-loss campaign. The Marlins (67-71) spent most of the first five months in playoff contention. Losing eight of their last 12 heading into Friday's home series opener against the Braves has pushed them to the fringe, but with 24 games to go they're already five games better than a year ago.
Evaluating Redmond's second major league season as a major is a subjective process because of the role the front office plays in putting together a roster and ensuring the organization has enough depth. After struggling in his first year, the Marlins gave Redmond several bats to work with in the form of Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, and Jeff Baker.
Although the Marlins have a significant amount of starting pitching depth, the fact that the Marlins have been able to win without Jose Fernandez under Redmond's leadership has been key. Redmond has not been afraid to shuffle the lineup whenever necessary, most recently placing Marcell Ozuna in the cleanup spot behind Stanton as a result of the temporary struggles of McGehee.
Some believe Redmond's situational awareness is questionable and that he replaces starters either too early or too late. But Redmond has had control of the rotation, and hasn't been afraid to replace a struggling Brad Hand or other young arms.
Redmond has been consistent with his lineups, and while the Marlins have not been notably active on the basepaths, Miami does not have a significant amount of speed at the top of the order.
Redmond may not have been in a winning situation last season, considering he took over following a fire sale and did not have much say in roster decisions under then Preisdent of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest.
"To be in the situation he was last year and be able to turn things around, I think it starts with upper management getting the right type of guys in here," veteran Reed Johnson said. "Everyone talks about changing the culture. For a while here it's been about playing for your numbers from day one because the team in the past hasn't had as good of a chance to win or go to the playoffs."
A 14-10 record the rest of the way would make Redmond the sixth manager in major league history to oversee a 100-loss season start-to-finish and return the next year with the same club and post a winning record. The others on that list: Pat Corrales (1985-'86 Indians), Leo Durocher (1966-'67 Cubs), Gene Mauch (1961-'62 Phillies), Connie Mack (1946-'47 Athletics) and Hugh Duffy (1904-'05 Phillies).
With a 62-100 record in 2013, the Marins were not expected to regress heading into 2014. But Redmond has appeared to get the most out of a young core on a daily basis, which is something that he deserves to be rewarded for.