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Miami Marlins Good, the Bad and the Utility: Growing Pains

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Breakdown of recent struggles, what can be done and the Fish Stripes question of the week!

Dee Gordon has been a spark in the offense
Dee Gordon has been a spark in the offense
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Not a banner week for Marlins baseball or for yours truly in the medical department, but that being said the season is still young.  This early in the season is too small of a sample size to panic just yet.  Yes, the Fish are last in the National League East division with a record of 3-10, but it has been an unconventional start for just about every team in the division.

Week in Review

The Marlins opened up the season with a sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, who started the season surprisingly well.  The blistering streak was brought to a screeching halt after the Marlins took two of three, including a win on Jackie Robinson Day.  Tuesday represented what has been the best offensive for Miami so far this season.  Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton drove in four of the eight Marlin runs in the game.  Dee Gordon continued an impressive start to the 2015 campaign, going 2-4 in the leadoff spot.  After the 8-2 win, the Marlins continued on Wednesday with a 6-2 win.  Starting pitcher Dan Haren picked up his first win of the year, going seven strong and only giving up two earned runs.  Thursday came and...things got ugly.  The Marlins would drop Thursday's game along with the following three games at the hands of the New York Mets.  The Mets scored at least four runs in each game and had the Marlins pitching turning their heads quite a few times.  Sunday was icing on the cake with Tom Koehler having a rough outing, tossing 3.1 and surrendering seven earned.  The bullpen would prove strong for the rest of the contest, but the offense's comeback effort fell just short, 6-7.  The Marlins finished 2-5 on the week.

On Deck

The Marlins will have Monday off for rest before opening a series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.  The three game set will be on the road.  The good news is that the starting pitching should have plenty of opportunity to regain their footing and find a rhythm.  The Phils hold a National League worst .213 team batting average and I don't see that improving much over the next week.  Haren (1-0 2.08 ERA) will get the nod on Tuesday to open up the series.  Jarred Cosart (0-1 4.76 ERA) and David Phelps (0-0 7.94 ERA) look to regroup as they follow the next two games. Prediction: Miami wins series 2-1

Up next will be an intriguing matchup as the weekend home series will feature the Washington Nationals.  The Nationals have had a disappointing start (6-7) and will be coming off a homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals.  This will by no means be an easy series as Mat Latos (0-3 10.24 ERA) will be the first starter.  Latos has had a dismal start to 2015 and looks to turn things around.  With a pitcher with a palette like Latos, I see no reason why he won't have a solid outing.  Koehler (1-2 6.75 ERA) will start game two and game three has not been announced but it can be presumed  that the ball will belong to Haren. Prediciton: Washington win series 2-1.

Offensive Notes

The Good: New acquisitions Dee Gordon and Martin Prado have started well this season.  Gordon leads the team with .389 average and is the only one over .300 (well, unless you count Henderson Alvarez at 1-3).  He has also knocked in nine RBI from the leadoff spot.  He's started the season like you would expect an All-Star pickup would.

The Bad: Outside the two previously mentioned, the batting average has been inconsistent at best.  Recently extended Christian Yelich is just 9-45 (.200) this year while Michael Morse is batting .245.  Offensively, the Marlins are eighth in both average and runs scored.

The Utility: Stanton's average is a little lower than we would hope (.239) but the good news is he has as many RBI as he does hits (11).  When the slugger is getting the ball in holes, it seems to be at the right time for the time being.

Question of the Week

As always here is your Fish Stripes Question of the Week!  Feel free to use this opportunity to make general comments, answer the question or make fun of my hair.

What is more of a concern right now? The Rotation or the Offense?

See you next week Fish Stripes!