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2018 Marlins spring training progress report

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Most healthy players in major league camp have seen game action. (WARNING: small sample size theater)

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Through six spring training games played in the Grapefruit League, the Miami Marlins have only lost once.

Enjoy it! There’s no guarantee that they’ll have any stretches like this during what projects to be a challenging 2018 summer.

Over at Viva El Birdos, Tyler Kinzy tested the correlation between MLB preseason and regular season records, concluding that what we’re witnessing right now has “little predictive power.” And as of Mar. 1, with just a small fraction of the exhibition schedule in the books, the results shouldn’t persuade us to raise expectations.

That being said, the Marlins reported to camp in Jupiter this year with more position battles than a typical team has: multiple openings in the starting rotation and bullpen; the left side of the infield; and the entire outfield. In addition to all of the other available data, individual spring training stats could factor into those roster decisions.

Wei-Yin Chen, Martin Prado and JT Riddle continue to rehab from significant injuries and have been held out of live competition thus far. A handful of healthy relievers—including closer candidates Kyle Barraclough and Brad Ziegler—have been preparing at a deliberate pace, so no Grapefruit League appearances for them, either.

However, 55 Marlins players did participate in February games. For the first time in five months, we have new stats to analyze.

2018 Marlins Grapefruit League stats, batters

Player PA G HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG OPS
Player PA G HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG OPS
Anderson, B 11 5 0 4 1 0 .000 .364 .000 .364
Brinson, L 11 5 0 0 3 0 .400 .455 .600 1.055
Campbell, E 11 5 0 1 4 0 .100 .182 .200 .382
Sierra, M 11 5 0 0 4 0 .273 .273 .273 .545
Van Slyke, S 11 5 2 1 2 0 .500 .545 1.300 1.845
Dietrich, D 10 4 1 1 1 0 .125 .300 .500 .800
Galloway, I 10 5 0 1 1 2 .556 .600 .667 1.267
Mooney, P 10 5 0 1 1 0 .250 .400 .250 .650
Realmuto, J 10 4 1 0 4 0 .444 .400 .889 1.289
Rivera, Y 10 6 0 0 0 0 .200 .200 .300 .500
Castro, S 9 4 0 0 0 0 .222 .222 .222 .444
Adames, C 8 5 0 1 2 0 .286 .375 .286 .661
Bour, J 8 4 0 0 1 0 .125 .125 .125 .250
Diaz, I 8 4 0 0 5 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Harrison, M 8 4 0 0 3 0 .250 .250 .500 .750
Shuck, J 8 5 0 2 0 0 .500 .625 .500 1.125
Lee, B 7 5 0 0 0 1 .143 .143 .143 .286
Rojas, M 7 4 0 0 3 0 .286 .286 .286 .571
Wallach, C 7 4 1 0 2 0 .167 .286 .667 .952
Cooper, G 6 3 0 0 2 0 .167 .167 .167 .333
Giavotella, J 6 4 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Rodriguez, J 6 3 0 1 1 0 .600 .667 .800 1.467
Telis, T 6 3 0 1 1 0 .400 .500 .600 1.100
Holaday, B 5 3 0 0 4 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Maybin, C 4 2 0 1 1 0 .000 .250 .000 .250
Nola, A 4 2 0 1 0 0 .000 .250 .000 .250
Vigil, R 2 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Hoo, C 1 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Source: MLB.com
Photo by lewisbrins25/Instagram

OF Lewis Brinson—The former first-round pick is no stranger to major league spring training. Brinson was just 18 years old when he got a taste of it with the Texas Rangers organization in 2013. After playing 14 games apiece in both 2016 and 2017, he’s on pace to blow past that in his audition for a Marlins Opening Day roster spot. Through four starts, Don Mattingly has exclusively used Brinson in center field.

LF Derek Dietrich—Don’t let the .125 batting average mislead you into thinking he’s performed poorly. Multiple witnesses confirm that Dietrich nearly smacked a second home run on Wednesday. Mattingly has consistently praised Dietz, suggesting that he’ll serve as Miami’s primary left fielder and bat near the top of the lineup once the real games get here.

1B/OF Scott Van Slyke—Did you know: the 31-year-old already has more total bases in five spring training games (13) than he had in 29 regular season games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 (12). Van Slyke offers a similar skill set to Garrett Cooper, so a month from now, the Marlins will likely need to choose between them to fill a single major league role.

2018 Marlins Grapefruit League stats, pitchers

Player IP ERA G H ER HR BB SO WHIP OPS
Player IP ERA G H ER HR BB SO WHIP OPS
Despaigne, O 5.0 0.00 2 1 0 0 2 6 0.60 .229
Hernandez, E 5.0 3.60 2 6 2 0 0 5 1.20 .586
Gonzalez, M 2.1 3.86 2 1 1 0 1 4 0.86 .311
Peters, D 2.1 3.86 2 3 1 0 4 4 3.00 .983
Alcantara, S 2.0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 .000
Conley, A 2.0 4.50 1 2 1 0 0 1 1.00 .679
Garcia, J 2.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 1 1 1.00 .393
Graves, B 2.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 1 2 1.00 .365
Guerrero, T 2.0 0.00 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.50 .167
Nicolino, J 2.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 1 0 1.00 .393
O'Grady, C 2.0 0.00 2 2 0 0 1 3 1.50 .583
Smith, C 2.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 2 2 1.50 .708
Straily, D 2.0 0.00 1 2 0 0 0 3 1.00 .500
Turner, J 2.0 4.50 1 4 1 0 1 1 2.50 1.056
Urena, J 2.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 1 2 1.00 0.393
Wimmers, A 2.0 0.00 2 1 0 0 1 1 1.00 .417
Del Pozo, M 1.2 0.00 2 1 0 0 0 0 0.60 .400
Guerra, J 1.2 0.00 2 0 0 0 2 0 1.20 .333
Meyer, B 1.2 0.00 1 2 0 0 0 2 1.20 .667
Rucinski, D 1.2 0.00 2 1 0 0 0 2 0.60 .600
Cloyd, T 1.1 33.75 1 7 5 1 0 2 5.25 1.758
Lopez, P 1.1 0.00 1 0 0 0 1 3 0.75 .200
Gallen, Z 1.0 45.00 1 6 5 1 1 1 7.00 1.922
Gonzalez, S 1.0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 .000
Mazza, C 1.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 0 1 1.00 .650
Richards, T 1.0 0.00 1 1 0 0 0 1 1.00 .500
Steckenrider, D 1.0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 .000
Source: MLB.com

RHP Odrisamer Despaigne—The Cuban veteran has never entered a new season with a secure MLB starting rotation gig. Chen’s ongoing elbow issues are a big boost to his candidacy, and Despaigne continues to help his own cause on the mound.

RHP Sandy Alcantara—He’s the only Marlins pitcher this spring to complete more than one inning without allowing any baserunners (heading into his start vs. the Mets on Thursday). Alcantara’s fastball reportedly touched 96 mph in his first appearance. The highly regarded prospect could surprise and crack the Opening Day roster if he’s able to demonstrate the same command while throwing at max effort.

RHP Zac Gallen—This is what a 45.00 earned run average looks like.

Looking ahead, the Marlins will play six of their next eight games away from the comforts of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Even while acknowledging the realities mentioned earlier in the article (you know, about these stats being pretty meaningless), it’s only natural to feel encouraged by what this unheralded squad has shown so far.