Split stats are fun to take a look at, even when they don’t hold any real significance. In this article, we bring you some numbers that actually could make a difference for the Marlins down the stretch of the 2021 regular season and factor into their 2022 plans.
Let’s dive right in…
The Marlins might’ve found their lead-off guy
In seven years prior to 2021, Miguel Rojas served as the lead-off hitter 84 times, but this season he’s done so in 59 games. And it has paid off big time for the Fish. Considering how well he has performed, I wouldn’t be shocked if Rojas takes over that role for the whole 2022 season (assuming that the option year in his contract vests).
Over 256 plate appearances, the shortstop is slashing .294/.348/.477 with a .824 OPS. He’s registered 69 hits across 235 at-bats, along with 20 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 23 runs batted in, 18 bases on balls, and even six stolen bases.
Even though Rojas’ contact percentage (81.6% this season) is not what it used to be (84.7% for his career), he is still considerably better than league average, which also makes him an ideal option to remain at the top of the lineup.
Not good at all
Throughout his career, Anthony Bass hasn’t had a good experience when facing the Mets. This year, he has taken that to a new extreme. Bass as a Marlin has been fine vs. most teams, but so horrible against New York that it skews his entire season’s production.
The 33-year-old has lost twice (0-2) against the Mets this year, with a 12.60 ERA across five innings in seven appearances. He’s surrendered seven earned runs and 10 total hits, including home runs to Javier Báez, Brandon Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil. Lifetime, he’s 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA over 14 appearances. In that span, he’s given up 11 walks and 25 hits (18.1 IP).
Excluding the Mets, Bass carries a 3.17 ERA in 48 1⁄3 frames with opponents totaling 36 hits and 17 earned runs—that’s much closer to the man the Fish were expecting when inking him to a multi-year free agent deal.
A comfortable spot for Jazz
We’ve already discussed Miguel Rojas’ success in the lead-off spot. The Marlins tried Jazz Chisholm Jr. there for an extended stretch of the season, but it didn’t work out as hoped. In 58 games, Chisholm slashed .237/.289/.379 with 78 strikeouts over 250 total trips to the plate.
It’s a different story for him when Don Mattingly uses him as the sixth man of the offensive order. Over 14 contests in that spot, Jazz hits for a .304/.411/.630 slash line, including a 1.041 OPS, nine extra-base hits, eight walks, and 15 punchouts.
Moving forward, the Fish should have the desire and resources to add more established hitters from outside the organization. Chisholm might be overqualified to be a No. 6 hitter, but perhaps taking some pressure off his shoulders and writing his name further down on the lineup card will bring out the best in him again.
Two is better than one, right?
Last but not least, here’s a good stat that just reaffirms what the team needs: offense! This year, the Marlins have a 24-7 record in multi-homer games—that is, 77.4 percent of those contests, which turns out to be even more impressive.
The Marlins have the second-fewest games with more than one long ball, only above the Pirates (27). For context, the Braves are leading in that category with 63.
If the Marlins put a more dangerous, productive lineup on the field, they’d be on their way to contending.