It is easy to move on to football.
After a loss to the Nationals on Sunday afternoon, the Marlins sit at 64-86. They are not close to winning the National League East and have been looking towards 2016 for at least the last three or four weeks. Football season is in full swing and even fans of teams in contention are tempted to switch channels over the weekend. But there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention to the Marlins.
Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton were the headliners heading into 2015 but neither has been able to remain healthy. Fernandez only made seven starts before going down with a shoulder injury and Stanton has yet to return after going down with a hand issue. Even if Stanton does not return, watching Fernandez pitch is enough of a reason to tune in every fifth day. Why tune in for the other four?
Miami still has several things to figure out before the end of the season. The club reportedly has considered trading Marcell Ozuna and is expected to think about moving him this winter. However, Ozuna could likely change the organization's plans by playing well before the end of the year.
While Stanton and Yelich are almost guaranteed roster spots next season, Ichiro Suzuki is not. The Marlins are hoping to extend Suzuki, but it is worth evaluating how he performs over the final days of the season. Suzuki has proven to be durable and would be a valuable left-handed bat coming off of the bench in 2016. He wants to play and could find a new role with Miami moving forward.
Although the Marlins want to add young pitching and potentially additional offense, several young arms have the opportunity to earn roster spots in 2016. Adam Conley and Justin Nicolino are among them and Kyle Barraclough could lock down a bullpen spot if he continues to pitch well in key situations. Dee Gordon provides a spark and Martin Prado is the veteran leader a young team needs.
The Marlins are out of it but there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention. The way the roster looks in 2016 will likely depend on the final weeks of 2015.