The Miami Marlins are heading towards the end of their season, and that means that we will get more inbox questions to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The latest set of questions has some interesting bits and talking points, so let's delve right into the latest Snarkbox!
Giancarlo Stanton has been out so long, and the season is almost over. What is the point of even trying to bring him back? Shut him down and get him ready for next year.
-- Nicole D., Miami Gardens, Fla.
Frisaro specifically says that if Stanton is not feeling well by the end of this week, that he should not return to the field. At this point, I don't know that there is any benefit in Stanton getting true game time in 2015. A freak accident can happen at any time, as we all learned last year, and Stanton is not contributing to any meaningful game time in 2015. It is different than with pitchers like Jose Fernandez, in whom I think a routine of regular play against real competition will make a difference, even for a short time. The good news is that Stanton's injury sounds like it is healing, just with more painful scar tissue than usual. This does not sound like a concerning nerve injury, so expect a full recovery for 2016.
Will the team actually start using those compensation Draft picks in the future instead of trading them to save money?
Shout outs to RoderickCrowley, who is a regular Fish Stripes reader who follows us on Twitter. As for what the Marlins will do, I don't disagree with Frisaro that the Marlins have not solely used these competitive balance draft picks to save money. However, the Fish are too willing to trade free draft picks in the 30's range in order to acquire back-end talent. The Fish have tossed out a number of picks in order to acquire pieces that were probably freely available. In this past year, they used their pick to help offload salary. Each of these selections is approximately worth $7.5 million in trade value, which the Fish are probably not getting at full price in their recent deals.
The team has not necessarily whiffed on recent draft picks either. In 2010, the team got Christian Yelich. In 2011, they nabbed Jose Fernandez. In 2012, they got Andrew Heaney, who is having a solid season with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2013, they got Colin Moran, who is having a dominant year in Double-A for Houston. The problem is they traded recent high draft picks for buy-high assets like Dee Gordon and Jarred Cosart, leaving them low on prospect depth.
What will the Marlins be looking for in free agency?
Don't expect much. The Marlins are not planning on bumping their payroll beyond what they paid out this year, and a lot of salaries are expected to increase with arbitration. The team's prices are going to increase in a way that I would not expect major moves to improve the rotation, where the Marlins have the most woes at this time. Furthermore, the team may veer in another direction and look to (surprise!) tear down a big part of this team's current core and attempt another rebuild. Stay tuned.
Can you list some of the Marlins' managerial candidates. Is Ron Washington one?
If Washington is interested in managing, I don't see why he wouldn't be a candidate. However, I feel Miami wants more of a disciplinarian old-schooler than the player's manager Washington has been with the Rangers in the past.
Frisaro did say something of interest:
A manager that embraces analytics might be nice, but he would get no traction if the front office does not follow suit with this rumored increase in analytic usage in Miami. Keep in mind this rumor is strictly borne of Frisaro's constant discussion of it; no inside sources have come out saying anything at all about a focus on analytics.
J.T. Realmuto is our future catcher, but has to be more disciplined with his blocking. I see him gloving too much. New method or bad habit?
The numbers do not necessarily bear out that Realmuto has struggled blocking pitches at the plate. He has been league average according to DRS in nabbing would-be basestealers, and that has supposedly extended into blocking pitches and preventing wild pitches and passed balls. If you used a simple metric based on number of innings caught, the average catcher would have allowed 45 passed balls and wild pitches in Realmuto's 945 1/3 innings. Realmuto himself has allowed 52 such plays. When counting the average context of these plays, Baseball Prospectus has him about average this year in blocking pitches.
What is interesting is that Realmuto has not been great at framing strikes for the Fish. He has cost the Marlins around five runs in lost strikes according to Baseball Prospectus. Out of the 66 catchers in 2015 with at least 1000 chances to frame strikes, Realmuto ranked 62nd, ahead of only known poor defenders like Nick Hundley and Robinson Chirinos. It's still early in his career and he came up part of the way into the season, but this is something Miami should look into more closely.
Remember, if you want your own questions answered in our (pseudo) weekly series, send them over to SFiercex4@gmail.com, and I'll get to them for next time!