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5 Marlins franchise records that could be broken in June 2017

Whether or not they can battle back into the playoff picture, these statistical subplots will keep us entertained.

On the base paths, Dee Gordon is striking the ideal balance of aggressiveness and efficiency.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Playing for a young franchise like the Miami Marlins makes it easier to leave your mark and achieve something that’s never been done before. Giancarlo Stanton has done so in the power categories, just as Gary Sheffield and Jose Fernandez before him did with their on-base skills and strikeout ability, respectively.

Every month is an opportunity for us to witness a new record, and that’s especially true this June.

So when one of their games turns into a early blowout and your dumb friend suggests watching the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie instead, turn him/her down and explain that you need to stay tuned for these pursuits.

Career runs batted in

Current record holder: Mike Lowell (578 RBI)

Stanton has already spent more seasons with the franchise (eight) than Lowell ever did (seven), but he’s closing in on the run production record despite actually playing in 100 fewer games. Both made their homes—Pro Player Stadium and Marlins Park—in ballparks that were generally unfavorable to hitters.

However, we find an interesting contrast between them when it comes to performance with runners in scoring position, where runs batted in are easiest to come by. Lowell lost 28 plate appearances to intentional walks under those circumstances, while Stanton presents more of an intimidation factor and has been put on intentionally 64 times. If not for that discrepancy, Stanton would’ve ascended to the top spot far sooner. Instead, he begins June one RBI shy.

Weighted pitchers’ average age

Current record holder 1993 (29.9 years old)

Daniel is right: the Marlins have building blocks to be excited about. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of them on the pitching staff. Injuries to the starting rotation have created openings for 25-year-olds Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena, but overall, the Fish lean heavily on old men. Baseball-Reference’s pitchers’ average age stat takes into account which members of the staff start, close and appear in the team’s games. Picking up a few more veterans from the junkyard—or activating them from the disabled list—would push this season’s 29.5 average further in the wrong direction. It’s also shaping up the be the fourth straight year that Miami’s pitchers have aged since they bottomed out at 26.0 in 2013.

Last time the Marlins pitchers were this old, they had a 45-year-old Charlie Hough skewing the average.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Batting average against in a season

Current record holder: Jose Fernandez (.182 BAA)

Dan Straily is no spring chicken at age 28, but at least he’s controllable via arbitration through the 2020 season. The Marlins must be thrilled with what they’ve seen from him thus far, specifically Straily’s career-best 25.7 strikeout rate and a 2.8 percent home run rate that’s dramatically improved from a year ago. Missing more bats and avoiding barrels is such a help to the defense, and his teammates have shown their appreciation by making plays behind him. Opponents own a miserable .240 batting average on balls in play with Straily on the mound. Their .195 overall batting average is currently just the second sub-.200 qualified season in franchise history.

Lowest Batting Average Against in a Qualified Season, Marlins History

Rank Player BA Year IP H BB SO ERA FIP
Rank Player BA Year IP H BB SO ERA FIP
1 Jose Fernandez .182 2013 172.2 111 58 187 2.19 2.70
2 Dan Straily .195 2017 60.2 43 25 64 3.56 3.81
3 Al Leiter .202 1996 215.1 153 119 200 2.93 3.97
4 A.J. Burnett .209 2002 204.1 153 90 203 3.30 3.19
5 Kevin Brown .220 1996 233 187 33 159 1.89 2.88
Source: Baseball-Reference

Most starting pitchers used in a season

Current record holder: 2004, 2014, 2015, 2016 (13 SP)

Straily has been more of the exception than the norm for this club, unfortunately. He’s the only 2017 rotation member to make every scheduled start. Miami’s pitching depth has already been tested, with replacements for the already-injured arms dealing with their own issues. Despite entering June on a four-game winning streak, the staff still seems fragile. Jeff Locke (the 10th different starter this season) makes his debut coming off a bout with biceps tendinitis, while Jose Urena is trying to sustain a career year (3.14 ERA) despite the same ol’ ugly peripherals (5.06 FIP, 5.56 xFIP). It’s not hard to envision a scenario that forces the Fish to cycle through a few more journeymen this month.

Consecutive successful stolen base attempts

Current record holder: Emilio Bonifacio (21 SB)

I’m not sure what to make of Dee Gordon’s career splits. He has a 67.4 percent stolen base success rate (29-for-43) in 100 June games despite stealing at an impressive 79.5 percent during all other months combined. Gordon even struggles to get on base at his typical rate (.306 OBP in June, .329 OBP outside of June). Assuming that there isn’t really a calendar curse involved, the speedy second baseman can challenge Bonifacio’s streak from the 2011 and 2012 seasons by continuing to be healthy and aggressive. Since getting caught by the Tampa Bay RaysMatt Andriese/Derek Norris battery on May 4, he has stolen safely in nine consecutive attempts.