5. Marlins have valuable pitching depth
Jose Urena made his major league debut last week against the Pirates, and although he initially struggled, will receive another opportunity on Monday night against Chicago. The Marlins also have Justin Nicolino and Kendrys Flores waiting to be promoted and pitch in the major league rotation, but because of the organization's depth, neither of those two have had to be called upon prematurely. Miami wants Nicolino to remain in the major league rotation once he is promoted and Flores may be added to the major league roster before the end of the season.
Although the Marlins had rotation spots to fill, their pitching depth enabled them to fill those slots easily. Brad Hand opened the season pitching out of the bullpen but has proven he can make a spot start. Tom Koehler has been a versatile piece who is having a fair amount of success again in 2015.
The Bottom Line: Miami's pitching depth kept it in close games throughout the month of May.
4. J.T Realmuto is a consistent catching option
The Marlins designated Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment and by doing so named Realmuto their starting catcher. While Saltalamacchia struggled defensively, Realmuto has proven to be an upgrade behind the plate. Opposing baserunners are having success and Realmuto will likely work on throwing potential base stealers out moving forward.
Through 38 games, Realmuto has posted a .213/.243/.346 batting line to complement two home runs and ten RBIs. He will likely improve over time and could be the club's starting catcher moving forward.
The Bottom Line: Realmuto is an upgrade over Saltalamacchia and has handled the Marlins' pitching staff well.
3. Steve Cishek struggles continue
Former Manager Mike Redmond and current Manager Dan Jennings have expressed confidence in Cishek, and while he will likely have success after a few adjustments, he is currently being hit hard. Cishek has posted a 6.98 ERA and 4.23 FIP in 19.1 innings and lost his job as the Marlins' closer.
A.J. Ramos has thrived since being named the closer although Cishek could be closing games again before the end of the season. If Cishek begins to turn things around, the Marlins will have a pair of effective late inning options in their bullpen. Cishek could also be dealt if the Marlins are comfortable with their bullpen depth.
The Bottom Line: Cishek is struggling but Ramos is effective and should prove to be valuable over the next few months.
2. Injuries lead to challenges
Few squads can go through a 162 game schedule with the entire roster healthy but the Marlins have been notably plagued by injuries of late. Mat Latos, Jarred Cosart, and Henderson Alvarez are all on the disabled list. Michael Morse is out, Adeiny Hechavarria is banged up, and Jeff Mathis is playing in rehab games.
Miami's depth has enabled it to remain competitive, but the club has been without key starters over the last few weeks. When the Marlins are healthy and Jose Fernandez returns, wins may be more easily attainable.
The Bottom Line: The Marlins are not all healthy. Consistency is not realistic without starters.
1. New manager does not ensure future success
When the Marlins fired Redmond and moved Jennings, the organization may not have expected immediate wins. Even if it was Ron Washington, Dusty Baker, or Jeff Conine, wins may not have come immediately after the change. Ultimately, the Marlins have struggled because of injuries and inconsistencies. That does not have a ton to do with the manager. There is a new voice in the clubhouse. But it has not made a huge difference to this point.
The Bottom Line: Dan Jennings can be successful. He needs a healthy roster first.