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.
Dream Bracket 2
You may recall the original MLB Dream Bracket from earlier this year that simulated matchups between rosters of each franchise’s all-time greatest players. The “Dream Seasons” edition is a separate 64-team tournament that uses players from particular years.
The 1997 Marlins beat the 1969 Mets, 4-2 in a best-of-seven series, to advance. There were standout performances at the plate courtesy of Bobby Bonilla and Charles Johnson, with Al Leiter firing seven scoreless frames to contribute in Game 6, which turned into a 15-inning marathon. In fact, four of the contests in this round required extra frames.
Here is the roster that they’ll be bringing into the next series against the 1984 Padres (results to be revealed Tuesday):
Meanwhile, 2003 Marlins dropped four of five games to the 1979 Pirates, winning the series opener in convincing fashion but losing nail-biters the rest of the way. Josh Beckett allowed just one earned run in his 13 1⁄3 innings. Mike Lowell slashed .444/.565/.778, but didn’t get enough help.
2020 season record: 20-33
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 19—Padres 8, Marlins 4
- May 20—Padres 0, Marlins 2
- May 21—Padres 6, Marlins 2
- May 22—Marlins 2, Nationals 5
- May 23—Marlins 1, Nationals 14
- May 24—Marlins 9, Nationals 7
After carrying the Marlins lineup with his red-hot start to 2020, first baseman Jesús Aguilar faded into the background for much of April and May. Even as the club implodes around him, it’s encouraging to see the Venezuelan veteran get back on track. He clubbed extra-base hits in four straight games from May 19-22. The third-most valuable Miami position player according to Wins Above Replacement, Aguilar figures to draw significant interest as the trade deadline nears.
Totally different story for Brandon Kintzler, though. He’s mired in the worst slump of his career, allowing 13 earned runs over his past four innings.
The Athletic Alternate Universe
2020 season record: 20-33
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. 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.
- May 19—Padres 4, Marlins 5
- May 20—Padres 5, Marlins 8
- May 21—Padres 2, Marlins 5
- May 22—Marlins 3, Nationals 4
- May 24 (1)—Marlins 5, Nationals 7
- May 24 (1)—Marlins 5, Nationals 8
The Marlins swept a series for the first time in 2020, and Jon Berti was right in the middle of it. He finished this week in the midst of a season-best seven-game hitting streak which has raised his batting average from .275 to .310.
Berti’s steady playing time has come at the expense of Isan Díaz. The former top prospect’s slash line is down to .191/.225/.279. He last homered in the first week of April. Hopefully, this proves to be rock bottom for Díaz.
2020 season record: 19-34
The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.
- May 19—Padres 10, Marlins 3
- May 20—Padres 3, Marlins 4
- May 21—Padres 4, Marlins 0
- May 22—Marlins 1, Nationals 6
- May 23—Marlins 4, Nationals 5
- May 24—Marlins 10, Nationals 1
On the other hand, the Strat-O-Matic Marlins have lost patience with Isan and optioned him to Triple-A. That transaction and a serious injury to Corey Dickerson combined to create roster vacancies for outfielders Monte Harrison and Lewis Brinson.
Harrison went 0-for-4 in his major league debut on Thursday and played the full game in center field. Also getting his feet wet in The Show, Nick Neidert had an impressive start against San Diego on Tuesday (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K).
Very quietly, Jordan Yamamoto is overachieving in his sophomore season. Sunday’s quality start put him in the team lead with 60 innings pitched.
- May 25 at Nationals
- May 26-28 at Cubs
- May 29-31 at Padres