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Miami Marlins thriving after Dee Gordon suspension

Someone should be recognized for keeping the Marlins focused. It should probably be Don Mattingly.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Things could have gone wrong relatively quickly for the Marlins.

Once they learned Dee Gordon, their starting second baseman, would be sidelined for 80 games for using performance-enhancing drugs, the Marlins very quickly could have shut down. If they allowed it to, their season could have fallen apart upon hearing the news.

Miami responded exactly how you would expect them to. They expressed their disappointment but remained optimistic for the future. It seemed there was little doubt.

In the clubhouse, though, that might not have been the case. Gordon batted .333 and stole 58 bases last season. It is challenging to replace a player that productive.

But the Marlins haven't made excuses. They haven't allowed their season to fall apart this early and they have seemingly remained composed.

Manager Don Mattingly and the veterans in the Marlins clubhouse deserve credit for that.

Instead of dwelling on the past, the Marlins have had a notable amount of success since Gordon's suspension began last Friday.

Miami has responded by winning five of its last six games. On a broader scale, they have won 10 of their last 11. But the success without Gordon in the lineup remains notable.

Some of it doesn't directly relate to Gordon's absence. The starting pitchers have pitched deep into games. The bullpen is having success. Without Gordon, the offense is producing, though.

Over the last few seasons, the Marlins have not had much success in May. To open the month by winning three of four contests, including a sweep of the Diamondbacks, is notable. And that is the kind of consistency the Marlins will need to have success for the rest of the season.

Once they dismissed Mike Redmond, the Marlins made it clear they were searching for a veteran manager. Mattingly, the Marlins felt, was the ideal fit. Already, it might be evident why.

Playing under an inexperienced manager, it might be challenging to overcome something like losing an All-Star second baseman. But with Mattingly, it doesn't seem to be much of an issue.

The Marlins are having success without Gordon. Mattingly deserves some credit for that.