If you or anyone you know watched the Miami Marlins this August, you don’t need us to tell you they aren’t a good baseball team. The Fish played 28 games, lost 20 of them, scored the fewest runs in baseball, had the lowest team OPS, and posted the lowest August batting average (.196) since the 1903 Washington Senators, who hit .192.
How do you put an optimistic spin on that?
Once again, we’ll try our best.
You may have grown weary of this narrative, but it remains true. While the team’s 20 losses paced all of baseball in the month of August, their collective 3.55 ERA—ranking 11th-best in the majors—suggests that the problem doesn’t lie on the mound.
The Marlins’ two complete games thrown—both authored by Sandy Alcantara—were good enough for 2nd, trailing only the New York Yankees whose starters went the distance three times. Even more absurd is the fact the team’s five shutouts were tops in all of baseball.
The team received contributions across the board in the rotation, with Edward Cabrera ringing off 4 consecutive scoreless outings, back-to-back 6-inning starts by Pablo López to finish the month strong, and the pleasant surprise that was Trevor Rogers’ return to the majors on the month’s final day.
Now if only the team could score some runs for them.
Sandy Avenges a Demon
Three weeks ago, critiquing Sandy Alcantara’s 2022 season would be like pointing out flaws on the Mona Lisa.
On August 21st though, Alcantara came face-to-face with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Against an opponent that could go down among the best single-season teams ever, the results were, shall we say, un-Sandy-like. Lasting just 3 2⁄3 innings in Dodger Stadium in what was his shortest outing of the season, the Dodgers took Alcantara to the cleaners, chasing him for 10 hits and 6 earned runs, both season-worsts. The Marlins ace’s ERA in 4 career starts against the Dodgers to that point: 14.79.
Six days later, now pitching in his home environment of LoanDepot Park, Alcantara hit the reset button, shutting down the Dodgers to the tune of 1 run and 10 strikeouts in a complete game victory. His gem in front of a live audience of more than 23,000 spectators that evening serves as an undeniable Marlins season highlight.
While not quite a perfect season, it’s been pretty darn close. With 7.0 rWAR ahead of his scheduled start in Atlanta on Friday, Alcantara appears the runaway winner for NL Cy Young.
Future on the Farm
Jordan Groshans— Fish Stripes Prospects Coverage (@FishProspects) September 1, 2022
9 extra-base hits in 67 AAA games before the trade
8 extra-base hits in 22 AAA games since the trade pic.twitter.com/LtcIL3zOWx
If and when he makes his big league debut, fans in Miami will be quick to embrace SS/3B Jordan Groshans.
The former 12th overall draft pick was acquired in the deadline deal that saw Zach Pop and Anthony Bass sent to Toronto. He had hit to the tune of a .644 OPS at AAA Buffalo up to that point, but has turned it on since his change of scenery. In his first 23 games and 97 plate appearances in Jacksonville, Groshans has slashed .329/.402/.471 (.873 OPS).
With Miguel Rojas continuing to be a non-factor at the plate—.169/.214/.205 in August—and now battling a lingering wrist injury, Groshans may soon be in line to prove himself by facing MLB pitching during the season’s final month.
Who gets your vote for August’s Marlin of the Month recognition?
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