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Positive and worrisome stats from Marlins players in Spring Training

Exhibition games should not dramatically change your opinion of a player, but they give us some trends to follow heading into the regular season.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins have wrapped up Spring Training with a 15-13 record and have since returned to Miami to focus on the real games (beginning with Thursday’s Opening Day).

Before throwing away the numbers entirely, let’s acknowledge some specific player performances that really stood out.

Positive: .439

The shortstop Miguel Rojas maintained an awesome .439 BA throughout the spring. Of all the position players for the Marlins, Rojas had the highest batting average coming from his 41 at-bats. Also, his .940 OPS was third on the team for players with over 30 at-bats. Coming off a 2018 season which saw Rojas hit just .252, his spring was one of the brightest spots for Miami.

Worrisome: 9.37

Pitcher Wei-Yin Chen posted a 9.37 ERA, and it wasn’t pretty at all. Chen started four games, and allowed 25 hits through 16 13 innings pitched. Though expected to be in the starting rotation in 2019, manager Don Mattingly made the move to switch Chen to the bullpen, and he’s being payed $20 million, which makes that dreadful ERA even more nauseating.

Positive: 2.27

Pitchers Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith combined for a 2.27 ERA. When putting together the ERA of all five starters from 2018, which was 4.30, 2.27 looks amazing. All three starters, Lopez, Richards and Smith also recently made the latest Top 100.

If they’re able to carry this momentum into the regular season, the impact that’ll have for the Marlins will be indescribable.

Worrisome: 18

The 18 is the number of times outfielder Lewis Brinson struck out in spring training. If the Marlins are going to improve from 2018, Brinson is going to have to take on a larger role and produce larger numbers. Last year, Brinson struck out 17 times in spring training, and then his 30 K% in the regular season was the worst among Marlins starting position players. While he did lead the team with five home runs in the spring and finished third in hits, he’s got to bring that strikeout number down.

Positive: .354 and 1.081

What are these two numbers? Just the batting average and OPS of Miami’s third-baseman Brian Anderson. After a successful rookie season in 2018, Anderson has now become one of the faces of this young Marlins team. The 25-year-old was also third on the ball club this spring with nine RBI’s. The development of Anderson and fellow second-year man Brinson is going to be critical to keeping the rebuild moving on schedule.

Positive: 2.63

If the Marlins are going to move forward, they’ll need the kind of production they got this spring from starting pitcher Jose Urena, and his 2.63 ERA. In 2018, we saw several shades of Urena, like when he went 1-2 in August with a 5.33 ERA. Or the month after in September, when Urena finished the season strong, going 5-0 with an ERA of just 1.20.

Urena pitched the only complete game for the Marlins last season (Aug. 19 vs. Nats)
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

With up-and-comers like Richards and Smith in the rotation, there’s been speculation that the Marlins could move Urena at the trade deadline. His efficiency right out of the gate could go a long way toward determining whether or not the front office seriously entertains that possibility.

Positive: 21, .395, .926

Great news for the Marlins fans—those numbers are the games played, batting average and OPS throughout spring training for Garrett Cooper. The left fielder played in just 14 games last season after injuries ruined his 2018. Now, he’s made the Opening Day roster, and many think that his contributions at the plate will provide a huge boost to what was arguably MLB’s weakest lineup.