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Simulating the 2020 Marlins—Week 4

The Athletic Alternate Universe (TAAU) joins Baseball-Reference and Strat-O-Matic in our season simulation tracker.

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Jonathan Villar is keepin’ busy on the basepaths.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Marlins regular season is off to a delayed start, but technology is a beautiful thing, ain’t it? Simulation games have created alternative universes in which this much-anticipated campaign is running precisely on schedule, featuring many of the players who were projected to make an impact for the real-life Fish.

At the end of each week, I will do a roundup of how the Marlins are performing.


2020 season record: 12-10

Baseball-Reference is simulating the entire 2020 MLB schedule using the game Out of the Park Baseball 21 (OOTP 21). Results are published daily at around noon ET.

Trevor Rogers surprisingly made the Marlins Opening Day roster in this simulation, and it looks like he’s here to stay.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins entered Sunday’s game in the midst of their worst slump of 2020, having lost six of their previous eight overall. Perhaps annihilating the Phillies will propel them back onto the right track? The 12 runs scored were by far a season high. At the same time, left-hander Trevor Rogers continued to exceed expectations by cruising through 6 13 innings in his first career start. The NL Rookie of the Year candidate owns a 1.06 earned run average in his 17 total innings pitched.

Receiving a bright green light on the basepaths, Jonathan Villar has amassed a league-leading 17 stolen base attempts, succeeding only nine times. Only Villar, Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas have appeared in all 22 Marlins games. The Alex Vesia scoreless streak—originating from his time with High-A Jupiter last July—remains intact.

Veteran outfielder Matt Joyce was released, creating consistent playing time for Garrett Cooper.

Individual batting stats updated through the games of April 19.
Individual pitching stats updated through the games of April 19.

The Marlins have been loading up on depth at various positions—former Mets ace Matt Harvey inked a minor league deal on Wednesday as did lefty bullpen option Chris O’Grady. Visit here for the full transactions log.

The Athletic Alternate Universe

2020 season record: 10-12

Just like Baseball-Reference, staff members at The Athletic are using OOTP 21. Editor Or Moyal is serving as general manager for the Marlins.

However, their simulation began after the MLB Opening Day date and they are moving at an accelerated pace. Results for the Marlins are already available through Apr. 29. For those who want to take a deep dive into the organization’s progress, TAAU also provides data for all Minor League Baseball affiliates.

Fish Stripes has decided to avoid spoilers. As of Apr. 19, the Marlins remain close to the .500 mark despite a struggling pitching staff/defense (5.55 runs allowed per game). Caleb Smith is a bright spot, racking up 33 strikeouts through 30 23 innings with a 1.76 ERA. Lewis Brinson is starring as Triple-A Wichita’s right fielder (.400 BA, 5 HR, 15 RBI in 11 G).


2020 season record: 8-14

The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.

Miami’s offense is sputtering. Whereas Baseball-Reference has Joyce on the scrap heap, he’s among the few competent bats in Strat-O-Matic keeping the club afloat. Very reminiscent of their start to the 2019 campaign, the Fish average only 3.09 runs per game. The most extraordinary stat involves baserunning: Villar is 9-for-10 on attempted steals; all other Marlins combined have gone 0-for-2.

Brad Boxberger is making good on his minor league deal with 21 strikeouts in 10 23 innings pitched (12 appearances). At this rate, he and Ryne Stanek look like candidates to overtake Brandon Kintzler for closing opportunities.

Individual batting stats updated through the games of April 19.
Individual pitching stats updated through the games of April 19.

Next up

  • April 21-23 at Mets
  • April 24-26 at Cardinals