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: 18-29
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 11—Marlins 2, Reds 3
- May 12—Marlins 1, Reds 2
- May 13—Marlins 0, Reds 3
- May 15—Rockies 7, Marlins 2
- May 16—Rockies 3, Marlins 1
- May 17—Rockies 2, Marlins 0
In real life, Reds right-hander Luis Castillo has fared extremely well against the Fish, who attempted to trade him away in 2016 and then actually did in 2017. His simulated self was incredible on Wednesday (7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 13 K)—no Miami players reached third base until he left the mound in the eighth inning.
That embarrassment comes in the midst of a record-tying losing streak. The Marlins have dropped 11 in a row, which matches 1998 (two 11-game streaks) and 2011 for longest in franchise history!
This Carlos Gómez experiment can’t last much longer...can it?! He’s producing just as poorly in right field as Matt Joyce was to begin the season, and the club cut ties with Joyce after only 15 games. Matt Kemp started in his place on Sunday, accounting for half of the club’s four hits.
The Athletic Alternate Universe
2020 season record: 17-30
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 Jul. 16. 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 11—Marlins 5, Reds 8
- May 12—Marlins 3, Reds 2
- May 13—Marlins 0, Reds 8
- May 15—Rockies 5, Marlins 1
- May 16—Rockies 5, Marlins 3
- May 17—Rockies 3, Marlins 4
Over the course of their last nine series, the Marlins have split one and lost the other eight. Saturday’s game against the Rockies was especially demoralizing, as Caleb Smith blew a 3-0 lead. He has now been tagged with the loss in four consecutive starts while his earned run average has ballooned to a season-worst 4.26.
On the bright side, Sixto Sánchez has joined the starting rotation! After a shaky MLB debut (3.2 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K), he rebounded on Sunday. Sánchez carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and was so efficient, manager Don Mattingly gave him a chance to finish off the shutout himself. That’s when the club’s top prospect finally found himself in some trouble and got removed from the game after eight-plus frames.
Strange to see Miguel Rojas already charged with eight defensive errors; his career high for any season is 11.
Down on the farm, Lewis Brinson drove in nine(!!!) runs on Sunday with Triple-A Wichita. Sterling Sharp picked up the win and continues to excel in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, allowing only 2 home runs in his 43 1⁄3 innings. Right-hander Brady Puckett (High-A Jupiter) has returned from Tommy John surgery after missing the entire 2019 season.
2020 season record: 17-30
The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.
- May 11—Marlins 4, Reds 8
- May 12—Marlins 1, Reds 4
- May 13—Marlins 7, Reds 14
- May 15—Rockies 6, Marlins 1
- May 16—Rockies 3, Marlins 4 (F/12)
- May 17—Rockies 6, Marlins 2
Garrett Cooper has been emerging as the Marlins’ most dangerous hitter, but he still isn’t getting into the lineup on an everyday basis. While it’s important to keep other young outfielders involved, Don Mattingly might be overthinking this to the detriment of Miami’s offense.
One of the few bright spots in the bullpen, left-hander Stephen Tarpley is looking at a 30-game absence after suffering an injury in Saturday’s appearance. He would be a candidate for the Marlins to sell high on at the trade deadline assuming he doesn’t have setbacks in his recovery.
- May 19-21 vs. Padres
- May 22-24 at Nationals