2nd-Half Predictions for Every Miami Marlins Player
We're halfway through the 2013 Major League Baseball season...well, sort of.
At 27-51, the worst record in the majors, the Miami Marlins are 78 games into a 162-game season. But we're close enough to the halfway point to predict what every Marlins player on the active roster will do for the final 84 games on the season.
To help us with this exercise, we've used FanGraphs to tell us what each player is projected to do in the second half and if what we know jibes with those projections.
As the second half awaits us, in alphabetical order, here are our second-half predictions for every Miami Marlins player.
2013 first-half stats (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage): .238/.297/.287, 0 home runs, 15 runs batted in in 182 plate appearances
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .258/.304/.357, 3 HR, 22 RBI in 263 PA
Analysis: After recording a slash line of .290/.372/.460 in 100 at-bats last season, Rob Brantly has struggled in his sophomore year. However, things might be looking up as he's hitting .261 in June (12-for-46) to raise his batting average up to .238.
Look for him to continue to get more playing time even if the Marlins are 14-32 when he starts and 13-19 when he doesn't.
2013 first-half stats: .214/.250/.286, 0 HR, 5 RBI in 16 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .260/.294/.366, 2 HR, 18 RBI in 184 PA
Analysis: Jordan Brown is in his second stint with the Marlins this season. He joined the Marlins on May 20 and then was optioned back to the minors June 2. Then, when Miguel Olivo left the team, the Marlins recalled Brown again on June 15.
He's made just one start and 12 pinch-hitting appearances. Look for this trend to continue as the season wears along, despite the ZiPS projection.
2013 first-half stats: 1-4 record, 3.24 earned run average, 14 saves, 33.1 innings pitched (34 games), 8.64 strikeouts per nine innings, .236 batting average in balls in play
Steamer projection for rest of the season: 2-1 , 3.38 ERA, 14 saves, 25 IP (33 games), 8.75 K/9, .292 BABIP
Analysis: After a rough start, Cishek has been on a roll.
In the month of June, Cishek has saved nine out of his 10 opportunities with a miniscule 0.82 ERA.
"I was a little uptight for a while," Cishek told Joe Morgan of MLB.com. "Now I'm going out there and just whatever happens happens. That's the best mentality to take when you're coming into a game like that."
Cishek has been mentioned in trade talks, especially since he will get more expensive next year as he heads into his first year in arbitration, and this string of saves can only heighten the interest in the submarine right-hander. That said, look for him to stay put continue to roll.
2013 first-half stats: .208/.269/.403, 7 HR, 17 RBI in 167 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .240/.290/.400, 8 HR, 31 RBI in 282 PA
Analysis: After a great start to his career, Dietrich has been on a long slump that he's yet to snap out of.
Dietrich collected eight hits in his first 20 at-bats, including a home run and four RBIs, but has hit just .179 since then. As a result, he's fallen from the No. 3 hole in the batting order all the way to the No. 8 spot despite smashing six homers.
"I could be doing this and learning in the minor leagues, but I have this great opportunity that I can learn and be around some of these great players in the major leagues every day," Dietrich told Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. "It's been a blessing and a great opportunity, and I'm soaking it all up every single day."
Although Dietrich has struggled, the Marlins did not send him back to the minors when Donovan Solano was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list after missing a month with an intercostal strain. Instead, Solano was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. So, it doesn't look like Dietrich will be going anywhere anytime soon.
2013 first-half stats: .228/.299/.302, 2HR, 17 RBI in 211 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .246/.293/.345, 3 HR, 18 RBI in 181 PA
Analysis: The Marlins should stop starting Greg Dobbs, provided Logan Morrison, Ed Lucas or Casey Kotchman is healthy.
Dobbs has struggled to find his groove all season, but he seemed to have rediscovered his role as a pinch-hitter, stringing hits in three consecutive pinch-hitting appearances from June 21-23 before it was snapped Friday. Granted, Dobbs is only 3-for-14 coming off the bench, but he's always been known as someone who succeeds in that role. As a starter this season, Dobbs hit a measly .229.
"Really, his strength and value to this team is coming off the bench," Redmond told MLB.com. "That's exactly what he's done, whether it's against a lefty or righty or whatever. We're always looking to get him into a good right-hander situation, but he gives you great at-bats against a lefty."
Look for Dobbs to rebound in the second half ... as long as he doesn't start on a regular basis again.
2013 first-half stats: 2-2 record, 2.83 ERA, 35 IP (40 games), 8.49 K/9, .293 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 2-2 record, 4.16 ERA, 33 IP (37 games), 9.28 K/9, .327 BABIP
Analysis: Mike Dunn has had a bounce-back season, but it looks like ZiPS thinks Dunn will regress, which is possible given the volatile nature of relievers. The question is whether Dunn will regress with the Marlins or somewhere else.
After recording a 4.91 ERA last season, Dunn has a 2.83 ERA this year. Because of his effectiveness, Dunn has been involved in trade talks. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported in May that teams have called the Marlins about Dunn's availability, but the Marlins have said Dunn is not available, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
2013 first-half stats: 1-0 record, 3.00 ERA, 12 IP (2 starts), 7.5 K/9, .167 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 3-5 record, 4.78 ERA, 56 IP (12 games, 11 starts), 6.67 K/9, .312 BABIP
Analysis: Szymborski's projections aren't kind to Nathan Eovaldi for the rest of the season, and there's a good reason for that. In the two starts since Eovaldi came off the disabled list because of a shoulder injury, Eovaldi's BABIP is a miniscule .167. It's a small sample, but there's a lot of luck involved to have a BABIP that low.
That said, Eovaldi's fastball in his first outing topped out at 99 mph and it averaged 96.9 mph, an increase from the 94.1 mph he averaged in 2012, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. As long as Eovalidi stays healthy, look for him to continue to progress in his development as a mid-rotation starter.
2013 first-half stats: 4-4 record, 2.98 ERA, 84 2/3 IP (15 starts), 8.93 K/9, .256 BABIP
Steamer projection for rest of the season: 3-3 record, 3.71 ERA, 41 IP (11 starts), 9.09 K/9, .289 BABIP
Analysis: These projections seem rather conservative, but it makes sense. For starters, Fernandez pitched a career-high 134 innings last season in the minors, so the Marlins will shut down down Fernandez once he reaches 170 innings. So far, Fernandez is already halfway there. That said, Fernandez has been golden.
Two weeks ago, Fernandez recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts in a 5-4 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. He became the first pitcher under the age of 21 to strike out 10 or more since Felix Hernandez with Seattle in 2007.
Also, once Fernandez passes the 100-innings mark, he'll become the fourth pitcher in 43 years to make the jump from Single-A to the majors and pitched at least 100 innings as a rookie. The others are Dwight Gooden, Jeremy Bonderman and Rick Porcello. The Marlins can only hope Fernandez's prime is more Doc Gooden than Bonderman and Porcello (the jury is still out on Porcello, though).
"Hitters are going to adjust, as they always do," says a scout to Sports Illustrated's Albert Chen. "But this kid is for real. He's got the stuff—but you can also see the tremendous self-belief on the mound."
Although it's unlikely Fernandez will win the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year, there's a possibility he could be the Marlins' lone All-Star representative.
After all, what other Marlin has played well enough to deserve it? Perhaps Cishek since he has nine saves since the calendar flipped to June? Maybe Giancarlo Stanton, if he gets hot within the next week?
2013 first-half stats: .205/.250/.293, 2 HR, 19 RBI in 245 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .243/.281/.340, 3 HR, 25 RBI in 307 PA
Analysis: At the end of the day, the Marlins know Adeiny Hechavarria's value lies in what he does defensively. All we ask is for Redmond to stop batting him at the top of the order. Despite the hideous stats, Hechavarria has had 22 at-bats in the leadoff spot and 27 at-bats in the No. 2 hole.
Defensively, Hechavarria has been, at the very least, solid to spectacular, depending on whom you ask.
The statheads says Hechavarria has been merely average. In fact, his range factor per nine innings is 3.86 (21st out of 25 qualifying shortstops) while the league average is 4.33, and his DWAR (defensive wins above replacement) is 0.2, which ranks 20th.
"Not a lot of people talk about how consistent he's been and how good he's been for us all year," Redmond told the Sun-Sentinel. "Bone [infield coach Perry Hill] and I have stayed on him about focusing on playing defense and how important his defense is to this ball club, no matter what he hits."
Within the same story, some think Hechavarria could win a Gold Glove in the future. He probably can, but it won't happen this year.
2013 first-half stats: 0-0 record, 1.98 ERA, 13 2/3 IP (15 games), 9.22 K/9, .303 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 1-2 record, 4.64 ERA, 27 IP (25 games), 6.65 K/9, .327 BABIP
Analysis: Dan Jennings has pitched so masterfully that at some point he has to fail. At least that's what ZiPS is saying.
"Every time we put him in there he's gotten guys out and he's throwing strikes," Redmond told Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. In the big leagues that's what you need out of relievers…to come in and pound the strike zone. Guys are going to get hit. That's going to happen, but the walks, you can't walk guys."
Jennings has been money thus far, and it's just hard to see how he'll finally falter. Maybe if Dunn is traded, then Jennings might fail as the team's top left-handed option out of the bullpen. But again, it just doesn't feel like it's in the cards.
2013 first-half stats: 1-5 record, 4.78 ERA, 64 IP (15 games, 9 starts), 5.20 K/9, .255 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 3-6 record, 5.23 ERA, 72 IP (16 games, 13 starts), 6.31 K/9, .316 BABIP
Analysis: With Henderson Alvarez set to return, it looks like Tom Koehler will bounce in and out of the starting rotation until Ricky Nolasco is traded. Heck, when Eovaldi was set to come off the disabled list two weeks ago, Koehler was a candidate to return to the bullpen until manager Mike Redmond opted for Kevin Slowey.
As a starter, Koehler is 1-6 with a 5.15 ERA in 10 starts. As a reliever, he has a 4.12 ERA in 13 appearances.
On the bright side, at least Koehler can check one item off his bucket list when he picked up his first career victory last week against the San Francisco Giants.
2013 first-half stats: .313/.382/.375, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 92 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: No projections available
Analysis: Yes, you read that correct. Neither ZiPS or Steamer has any projections for Ed Lucas, and with good reason.
For the last nine-plus years, Lucas never came up for a cup of coffee in the majors. So how can you plan or project someone when no had ever heard of him?
At 31, Lucas is the oldest non-pitcher to make his major league debut with the Marlins. Because of how long it took for him to get here, Lucas has done all he can to stay.
That said, look for Lucas to come crashing back to Earth, even if it's just a little.
2013 first-half stats: .109/.167/.255, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 61 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .204/.246/.332, 2 HR, 12 RBI in 115 PA
Analysis: Before you read this slide, hide the children. No one should ever look at the horror that is Jeff Mathis' stats. The sad thing is, this is what Mathis is as a hitter. He owns a career slash line of .194/.252/.312.
The one saving grace is Mathis' ability to handle a pitching staff.
"I like him catching a couple of our younger guys," Redmond told Joe Morgan and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. "It's more comforting, I think, for our younger pitchers. Not that [Rob] Brantly can't do it. Over the course of my years, I think a veteran catcher with a young pitcher, especially a guy who can tend to get a little excited out there, I think it's a nice, calming influence. I like that right now for Fernandez."
The Marlins are 10-7 when Mathis starts, so as long as they continue to pay him $1.5 million (with a team option in 2015), Mathis will play.
2013 first-half stats: .298/.340/.511, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 50 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .262/.344/.451, 6 HR, 24 RBI in 201 PA
Analysis: Welcome back, and possibly a return to form, LoMo.
Known as a player who will hit for average with some pop in his bat, Morrison had batted a combined .240 the last two seasons. Two knee surgeries in each of those seasons prematurely ended the dismal campaigns early. Although it's a small sample size this year, it looks like Morrison has reverted back to being the hitter that once made him a top prospect.
"I'm not trying to get 30 home runs this year or 20 home runs, I'm just trying to have good at-bats and put the barrel on the ball," Morrison told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
ZiPS projects Morrison to regress, but as long as Morrison stays healthy and doesn't try to be pull-happy, it's doubtful ZiPS is correct.
2013 first-half stats: 4-8 record, 3.93 ERA, 105 1/3 IP (17 starts), 7.09 K/9, .301 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 5-7 record, 4.34 ERA, 94 IP (15 starts), 6.72 K/9, .325 BABIP
Analysis: ZiPS is projecting Nolasco's performance as if he's with the Marlins. With a trade imminent, Nolasco will spend the second half of the season elsewhere.
Currently, it looks as if the Los Angeles Dodgers are the front-runners for Nolasco's services. One source with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPN's Buster Olney that the odds of Nolasco being dealt to Los Angeles are at 70-30.
Nolasco made his last start Friday. Coincidentally, Henderson Alvarez, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list in May, made what could be the last of his rehab starts for Double-A Jacksonville on Friday as well.
According to Rohan Nadkarni and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, many teams are in the running for Nolasco, such as the rest of the National League West, the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers.
2013 first-half stats: .296/.330/.432, 2 HR, 25 RBI in 210 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .252/.299/.413, 8 HR, 33 RBI in 285 PA
Analysis: Even though Marcell Ozuna was considered one of the Marlins' better prospects, he's been a revelation since joining the big league club. It's like he's Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig, but without the hype.
Ozuna has been so good that he was considered to be the Marlins' lone representative at this year's All-Star Game until a 2-for-31 slump slowed the young right fielder down. Keep in mind Ozuna is the youngest Marlins rookie to 40 hits and had a 16-game hitting streak earlier this year.
“My goal is to hit over .300 and drive in 90 runs,” Ozuna, who last year at Single A Jupiter hit .266, smacked 24 homers and drove in 95 runs, told Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald. “Even if I’m not hitting homers, it doesn’t bother me. I’m all about hitting line drives and driving in runs.”
That said, ZiPS projections seem a little harsh, but they might be on the money. Ozuna is a free-swinger, evidenced by the nine walks he's drawn thus far. So unless Ozuna becomes the next Vladimir Guerrero, he might have to draw a walk more than once a week to keep pace.
2013 first-half stats: .242/.288/.298, 18 stolen bases, 1 HR, 8 RBI in 268 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .273/.320/.327, 18 stolen bases, 1 HR, 15 RBI in 283 PA
Analysis: Like a couple of other Marlins, Pierre is slowly heating up after a miserable start.
Pierre is hitting .280 in June, which includes a 14-game hitting streak, after hitting a combined .223 in April and May.
“I’ve been in this situation throughout my career, so you learn not to panic,” the 14-year major-league veteran told Coley Harvey of the Sun-Sentinel about his earlier struggles. “You continue to do the work and that’s pretty much been the key.”
Expect Pierre to match ZiPS' projections, although maybe not in as many plate appearances now that Redmond is playing musical chairs with his outfield to get Justin Ruggiano more at-bats. Plus, Christian Yelich is still lurking in the minors.
2013 first-half stats: .239/.296/.286, 1 HR, 11 RBI in 257 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .258/.309/.315, 1 HR, 13 RBI in 218 PA
Analysis: It looks like this may be the end of the line for Placido Polanco.
He has gotten to the point where he's no longer a productive player, as his minus-0.4 WAR indicates. That said, he's still capable of coming through occasionally during a big moment.
Polanco's tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning provided the winning margin in the Marlins' 5-3 win Wednesday against the Twins. It was the first home run hit by a Miami third baseman this season.
2013 first-half stats: 2-1 record, 2.97 ERA, 30 1/2 IP (31 games), 6.53 K/9, .299 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 1-2 record, 4.50 ERA, 30 IP (32 games), 6.21 K/9, .318 BABIP
Analysis: If Dunn and Cishek are off the market, that might mean Chad Qualls could be traded for the right price.
And if you're the Marlins, now would be a good time to sell high on Qualls, at least based on the ZiPS projections, which isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Recently, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said his team's biggest need is help in the bullpen. That prompted cbssports.com's Mike Axisa to list some relievers the Giants could acquire, one of which is Qualls.
2013 first-half stats: 2-2 record, 4.17 ERA, 41 IP (32 games), 8.12 K/9, .272 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 2-2 record, 4.22 ERA, 38 IP (35 games), 8.69 K/9, .315 BABIP
Analysis: Probably the most dynamic Marlins reliever, A.J. Ramos has been solid in his first full season in the majors.
ZiPS projects his numbers to stay the same, for the most part. However, look for him to take on a bigger role once Ryan Webb, Qualls and/or Cishek is traded.
2013 first-half stats: .228/.296/.416, 11 HR, 28 RBI in 241 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .251/.312/.420, 8 HR, 27 RBI in 239 PA
Analysis: The Marlins leader in home runs and runs batted in, Justin Ruggiano is having a hard time staying on the field.
Earlier in the year, his struggles allowed Chris Coghlan's hot bat to get into the lineup. After Coghlan got hurt, Giancarlo Stanton returned from the disabled list. And with how Ozuna has played, playing time was sparse for Ruggiano.
Then, he got hot and just as he was getting into a groove, he got hurt and strained his left shoulder while diving for a ball in San Francisco. This came after Ruggiano hit two homers in a 7-2 Marlins win.
“Without an MRI, they’re calling it maybe a slight labrum tear, some capsule stretching is what they said,” Ruggiano told Rohan Nadkarni and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “All it needs is some rehab. If I feel like it’s not getting any better and it pops out again, then I’ll have to get a MRI.”
Here's what should happen when Ruggiano returns: Redmond should only play Ruggiano in road games. Away from the friendly confines known as Marlins Park, Ruggiano is hitting .246 and, oddly enough, has hit all 11 home runs on the road. At home, Ruggiano has not gone yard and is batting .200.
2013 first-half stats: 3-6 record, 3.90 ERA, 83 IP (16 games, 13 starts), 7.27 K/9, .320 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 2-4 record, 4.73 ERA, 57 IP (11 games, 10 starts), 6.49 K/9, .317 BABIP
Analysis: It was too good to be true.
Kevin Slowey's hot start (1-2, 1.81 ERA in first seven starts) was an aberration, and as a result, he has been demoted to the bullpen. The good news is that as a long reliever, Slowey is 2-0 and has not allowed a run in 11 innings.
So based on what we know, ZiPS' projection is extremely generous in the workload Slowey will have. The performance, though, seems about right until we know Slowey has found his niche as a long reliever permanently.
2013 first-half stats: .268/.353/.478, 7 HR, 21 RBI in 156 PA
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: .283/.365/.585, 18 HR, 44 RBI in 262 PA
Analysis: Despite a slow start and missing five weeks with a strained hamstring, the ZiPS projection on Giancarlo Stanton seems to be on point.
The more pressing question, as it's the case with many Marlins, is whether Stanton will smash the baseball with the Marlins or elsewhere.
For the last seven months, Stanton has been in every trade rumor possible. And if you have read this cyberspace at any point within the same timeframe, a certain writer has espoused why the Marlins should have traded Stanton yesterday here, here, here, here, and here. It also seems this writer is not alone.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal recently reported it probably would be wise to maximize Stanton’s value, trade him for a massive haul before July 31 and add to their pool of high-end prospects, especially considering Stanton earns a measly $537,000 this season and won't become arbitration eligible until after the season.
But so far, owner Jeffrey Loria is hell-bent on winning in the near future and proving that he made the right baseball decisions when he tore apart his roster, according to Rosenthal's sources. Other execs are also convinced Loria won't trade Stanton until the offseason, at the earliest.
"I don't think they're going to trade him," an AL exec told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. "I think Jeffrey is totally dug in on that. They control him for three years. They like the young players they've got coming. I don't think there's any chance they trade him. Not this summer. Not this winter. Maybe ever."
However, there are a few people in baseball who agrees with Rosenthal and this certain writer.
"I think high probability," one scouting director told Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter of Stanton's chances of being moved. "He wants out and will not be there long-term, and they know it."
Reiter outlined why a Stanton deal should be made, citing Stanton's unlikeliness to sign a long-term deal, Stanton's drop in production thus far and his propensity for getting injured.
The signs are there, but once again, only Loria is blind enough to not see it.
2013 first-half stats: 1-0 record, 1.97 ERA, 32 IP (5 starts), 5.63 K/9, .260 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 2-4 record, 4.89 ERA, 62 IP (11 starts), 5.83 K/9, .311 BABIP
Analysis: Guess that stint in the minors did Jacob Turner some good.
"He's been a lot better," Redmond told Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel on May 30, prior to the Marlins recalling Turner to the big league club. "We've all been monitoring how he's doing. He's a guy in spring training that we anticipated being in the rotation and it didn't work out. We're looking for him to come up and be a spark and take advantage of this opportunity. Hopefully he pounds the strike zone and logs some innings for us and gives us a chance to win."
Since returning from the minors, Turner has lived up to his billing as a possible No. 2 starter on a major league staff. Moreover, the Marlins are 14-9 since Turner's arrival.
That said, Turner will regress to the mean. What's surprising is how severe ZiPS projects Turner to regress. If Turner has indeed figured it out, he should blow those projections out of the water.
2013 first-half stats: 1-3 record, 3.22 ERA, 36 1/3 IP (33 games), 5.45 K/9, .277 BABIP
ZiPS projection for rest of the season: 2-2 record, 4.04 ERA, 35 IP (35 games), 6.09 K/9, .318 BABIP
Analysis: Although Ryan Webb is just as likely to be moved as Nolasco, rumors of his possible departure have been more under the radar.
But that doesn't mean teams aren't interested. Marlins officials have indicated Webb is on the market and will be traded for the right offer, and recently, the Detroit Tigers had a scout at last weekend's Marlins-Giants series at San Francisco. Detroit has been rumored to have interest in Miami relievers such as Cishek and Webb, per Jason Beck of MLB.com.
So, like Nolasco, Webb's ZiPS projections should be on the mark if he stays in a pitcher-friendly National League ballpark. If he goes to the American League, expect Webb's numbers to regress further.