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: 28-38
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.
- June 2—Phillies 0, Marlins 3
- June 3—Phillies 5, Marlins 1
- June 4—Phillies 7, Marlins 9
- June 5—Mariners 4, Marlins 3
- June 6—Mariners 6, Marlins 5
- June 7—Mariners 3, Marlins 4
After performing at sub-replacement level deep into May, Jonathan Villar is back to where you’d expect him to be. He has a legitimate chance to bat .300 for the first time as a major leaguer.
Caleb Smith continues his freakish consistency—his 2.41 earned run average is the best of any qualified left-hander in the majors.
The Athletic Alternate Universe
2020 season record: 26-40
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 Aug. 26. For those who want to take a deep dive into the organization’s progress, TAAU also provides data for all Minor League Baseball affiliates.
- June 2—Phillies 2, Marlins 3
- June 3—Phillies 5, Marlins 4
- June 4—Phillies 1, Marlins 2
- June 5—Mariners 4, Marlins 5
- June 6—Mariners 7, Marlins 0
- June 7—Mariners 6, Marlins 0
A trade! Two full months before the midseason deadline, the Marlins sent Francisco Cervelli and 2018 draft pick Tristan Pompey to the Oakland Athletics for outfield prospect Greg Deichmann. As a result, Chad Wallach got his first call-up of the year from Triple-A Wichita.
Cervelli had a strong .275/.392/.350 slash line in 98 plate appearances at the time of the deal. However, that was buoyed by an unsustainable .420 BABIP.
Drew Steckenrider’s campaign suddenly turned around when he moved into the closer’s role. He hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last 12 games (12.2 IP).
2020 season record: 27-39
The Strat-O-Matic 2020 Season Simulation spits outs its daily details at 2 p.m. ET.
- June 2—Phillies 2, Marlins 3
- June 3—Phillies 6, Marlins 7
- June 4—Phillies 5, Marlins 6 (F/10)
- June 5—Mariners 5, Marlins 6
- June 6—Mariners 10, Marlins 7
- June 7—Mariners 0, Marlins 4
Arguably Miami’s best week of the sim so far, featuring walk-off wins on Thursday and Friday, courtesy of Villar and Harold Ramirez, respectively.
Nick Neidert looks like he will be sticking in the starting rotation judging by his first four superb outings. While the rest of the pitching staff struggles to keep balls in the yard, he hasn’t allowed any homers yet.
As much as these simulations can yield interesting, thought-provoking outcomes, you are occasionally reminded of their total disconnect from reality. Take, for example, the announced attendance at Marlins Park on Saturday night: 49,509. Hard to imagine being able to fit even 40,000 people in the stadium at one time! Where were all of them standing? And why did they pack the place for a horrific opponent like Seattle?
I’m getting desperate for MLB owners and players to put their differences aside and give us something that actually matters.
- June 9-10 at Angels
- June 12-14 at Giants