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: 18-23
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.
- May 4—Brewers 5, Marlins 7
- May 5—Brewers 4, Marlins 5 (F/10)
- May 6—Brewers 6, Marlins 0
- May 7—Brewers 2, Marlins 1
- May 8—Marlins 4, Braves 6
- May 9—Marlins 1, Braves 2
- May 10—Marlins 2, Braves 7
Predictably, Miguel Rojas is coming back down to Earth after beginning his campaign on a magnificent hot streak. He nonetheless has a firm hold of the everyday shortstop gig. Corey Dickerson is piling up hits, but without much pop—the free agent acquisition is on pace for the lowest Isolated Power of his career. Matt Kemp has eased into a larger role without any drop-off in production (yet). That appears to be blocking Lewis Brinson from a call-up. On the disappointing side, Jonathan Villar isn’t coming close to his 2019 self yet, while Jorge Alfaro continues to be an offensive liability due to his poor plate discipline.
Nice turnaround from Sandy Alcantara. Erratic control in April nearly cost him a rotation spot, but he’s now in a groove. Caleb Smith looks like a legitimate ace and José Ureña is boosting his trade value. It might be time to get Alex Vesia into more higher-leverage situations, because none of the other bullpen options provide the same kind of consistency.
The Marlins have struggled versus the NL East-leading Braves (lost eight of 10 games), but they’re competing well against the rest of the league (16-15).
The Athletic Alternate Universe
2020 season record: 15-26
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 June 10. For those who want to take a deep dive into the organization’s progress, TAAU also provides data for all Minor League Baseball affiliates.
- May 4—Brewers 8, Marlins 16
- May 5—Brewers 11, Marlins 6
- May 6—Brewers 6, Marlins 3
- May 7—Brewers 0, Marlins 12
- May 9 (1)—Marlins 1, Braves 5
- May 9 (2)—Marlins 2, Braves 7
- May 10—Marlins 2, Braves 4
Rojas is a mere mortal in this simulation, even missing a handful of games recently with an intercostal strain. Brian Anderson has surged into NL batting title contention (.335 BA) while playing every game on the schedule. After a shaky start, Jon Berti is slashing .298/.331/.380 for the season and handling second base for the Marlins on a nearly daily basis. Baseball-Reference’s OOTP designated Matt Joyce for assignment, but here, he’s been a solid contributor (.273/.380/.418, 4 HR in 129 PA). Unfortunately, Jesús Aguilar is deservedly buried on the bench, homering only once through 59 plate appearances with a catastrophic .521 OPS.
This version of Don Mattingly is straight-up abusing his relievers. Through 41 team games, José Ureña has 24 appearances, and Drew Steckenrider and Ryne Stanek have 20 apiece. Closer Brandon Kintzler went on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation earlier this month. There’s concern that his 2020 season is over after posting a 2.87 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 8 SV in 15.2 IP.
2020 season record: 16-25
The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.
- May 4—Brewers 5, Marlins 6 (F/10)
- May 5—Brewers 5, Marlins 3
- May 6—Brewers 9, Marlins 5
- May 7—Brewers 1, Marlins 2
- May 8—Marlins 1, Braves 10
- May 9—Marlins 2, Braves 5
- May 10—Marlins 2, Braves 3
Brian Anderson has demonstrated that he is Miami’s top all-around player. However, there isn’t much hope for the squad to be relevant this season without better run production from the supporting cast. Villar leads the National League in stolen bases, but his batted ball quality has slumped in recent weeks.
I’m running out of superlatives for Caleb Smith, who ought to be close to a lock for the MLB All-Star Game. Brad Boxberger is another bright spot on the pitching staff. With 12 earned runs allowed over his past seven innings, Adam Conley is a strong DFA candidate.
- May 11-13 at Reds
- May 15-17 vs. Rockies