2020 MLB Preview: Miami Marlins
The Mood Seems To Be: Average Ain’t Bad. Let’s get there.
Miami Marlins first baseman Garrett Cooper is the reincarnation of Lyle Overbay. And that’s OK. I like Lyle Overbay. He came on “The Bob Moffitt Show” a couple of times back in the early part of the 21st century and was cool as hell. He also hit for average, clobbered a bunch of doubles and hit the occasional dinger. Sadly, Cooper did not go to the finest institute of higher learning west of the Mississippi, also known as the Harvard of the west. Of course I’m referring to the University of Nevada in Reno. What were you thinking of?
Anyway, Cooper is solid, adequate, reliable, even-keeled and the Miami Marlins are hoping to build an offense with those same attributes and defense to go with some young pitching. Cooper on the team means they have two first basemen since Jesus Aguilar’s there as well. They also have two shortstops, Miguel Rojas and Jonathan Villar. Outfielder Corey Dickerson adds to the list of solid, if unspectacular, players. As the Los Angeles Dodgers have proved, depth is a good thing.
This may be the last chance for outfielder Lewis Brinson. His .182 career average isn’t getting it done. On the farm is the fantastically-named Sixto Sanchez who has one fastball that sinks, one that rises and a change up that does some funky business according to mlb.com’s prospects page.
Trivia question: how many Gold Gloves did Sixto Lezcano win?
Answer: one, with Milwaukee in 1979, the same year he hit .321 with 28 home runs and 101 runs batted in.
The Marlins have already called up Daniel Castano after he posted good numbers at three levels of the minors. Unfortunately for Miami, the rest of the farm is growing ragweed. The lone thing Miami has to hang its hat on is the similar performances of Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in their first two years compared to the arms the team has already called up. Right now Pablo Lopez is a fifth starter as is Elieser Hernandez. Now is the time to stop learning and start producing. Sandy Alcantara shows them it can be done. He had a 3.88 earned-run average in 32 starts last year.
What does it all mean? There’s reason for hope. If the young Marlins pitchers can be even average, this club would have had a chance to do something it hasn’t done in a long time: win a couple of games, like 75 of them! Otherwise, they’d lose 100.
Coronavirus 60-game prediction: 25-35 and Miami won’t notice that there aren’t any fans. It will be just like usual.
Beer and baseball have gotten along famously for a couple hundred years. Check out the dark, soothing goodness that stouts have to offer in these troubling times, while hopefully laughing your tail off at stoutcast.com.