The Miami Marlins had a rough 2015 season for a variety of reasons. The team had decent expectations, which is something the Fish have rarely experienced in their time as a franchise. There were a fair number of folks who suggested that the Marlins were a Wild Card team. Others put the club firmly in a contender role for one of the two Wild Card spots. If you were more realistic, you probably noted the Marlins to be around a .500 team with an outside shot at being a true playoff contender. Things certainly had to bounce the right way for Miami to head into the postseason, but no one suspected what ended up happening to the Fish.
Runs Scored: 613
Batting Line (Non-pitchers): .266/.317/.395
wRC Runs: 612
Runs Allowed: 678
Strikeout Rate: 19.0%
Walk Rate: 8.8%
Defensive efficiency: 0.706
Runs Allowed FIP + UZR: 683
The Marlins played to the tune of a 74-win team for much of the year based on their Pythagorean expectation, but only ended up winning 71 games thanks to some slight misfortune. Two of the three sides of the ball were a disappointment for the Fish in this campaign. The offense failed to score runs after being set up as an improved outfit in 2015. The addition of Dee Gordon yielded an immediately positive impact for the roster, and the other offseason addition Martin Prado played up to his value. However, it was the young players the team needed to succeed who disappointed the club the most, with both Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna underplaying projections. Combined with Giancarlo Stanton missing half of the season with a broken hamate bone that ended up being more troublesome than expected, and the team's offensive output was weakened badly. The team's 94 wRC+ was 24th in the league, ahead of only the Minnesota Twins and the rest of the league's dregs.
The pitching side also disappointed badly. The Marlins traded young pitching depth for veteran pitching help, but that veteran help never materialized appropriately. Mat Latos pitched better than his 4.48 ERA probably indicated, but he was still not the addition the Marlins were seeking. Dan Haren pitched decently enough but was never going to be an impact player on the roster. Tom Koehler ended up leading the Marlins in innings pitched, which was bad because he posted a 4.08 ERA and was not able to muster even a one-win season. Even Jose Fernandez, who dominated in his 64 innings on the field, was disappointing in terms of providing value, as he suffered a forearm injury during the season that kept him out of much of August and parts of September. The injury caused Marlins fans to get half of the Fernandez dose that they should have seen in 2015.
If there was one bright side for the Fish, it would be on the defensive side. The Marlins finally got their wish and fielded an above-average defensive roster. The infield turned out to be the side that carried the defense this year, with Martin Prado, Dee Gordon, and Adeiny Hechavarria all competitors for Gold Gloves in their respective positions, Hechavarria was the revelation this year, as he put up a fantastic defensive season en route to the best individual season of his career. The outfield was in tatters injury-wise for much of the season, which prevented it from being as successful, but it was well known that Yelich, Ozuna, and Stanton had strong reputations defensively as well. This could be a bright outfit for the 2016 season.
Here at Fish Stripes in October, we are going to strive to cover everything there is to cover in the review of the 2015 season. Here is what you can expect:
- A series describing what went right and what went wrong for Miami this season
- An in-depth look at each and every significant member of the 2015 roster and how they performed this year
- A review of the minors and a look at some of the team's top prospect names
The Marlins' disappointing season was difficult for all of us, but reviewing it is important if we are to get over it and move on to another interesting offseason.