“Never Try” – A Miami Marlins preview

Marge: “I think Bart and Lisa are feeling a little upset right now. Isn’t there something you’d like to say?”

Homer: “There sure is. Kids, you tried your best. And you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.”

I really should get a pass for this one, you know. How am I supposed to make you care about the Marlins? The Marlins don’t even care about the Marlins. They engage in fire sale after fire sale. They have a sub-.500 streak that’s almost as long as the White Sox’ playoff drought. Around these parts, we joke about #PerpetualRebuild, but the Marlins are actually living it.

In another sense, however, the actual Marlins players are so inconspicuous that this preview perhaps serves even more of a purpose than some others. Without looking it up, could you name the best player on the Marlins? Hell, could you name any player on the Marlins? I’m sure that plenty of you are fantasy baseball players or general MLB fans and could answer these questions, but quite frankly, there’s no shame in drawing a blank.

Well anyway, let’s talk about it. There’s two candidates I can see to answer the former question. The first is Garrett Cooper, who has come flying in from off the radar. Cooper didn’t crack the Marlins’ top 25 prospects as a 27-year-old before this season, but he’s put on a hitting clinic ever since getting past his triceps injury. The second is a 23-year-old righty named Jordan Yamamoto, whom the White Sox won’t face but has provided a big boost to the Marlins’ rotation.

Instead, the Sox will reckon with the trio of Trevor Richards, Caleb Smith, and Zac Gallen. Richards has hit a bit of a rough patch, and guys who have trouble finding the strike zone will be prone to those. He sits in the low 90s and is primarily a fastball/changeup pitcher; the latter is a legitimate out pitch. Caleb Smith is a lefty with three legitimate swing-and-miss offerings, but he has one of the lowest ground ball rates in the majors. Home runs are all that hold him back from being a front-of-the-rotation guy. Zac Gallen has only a few major league starts under his belt, but hitters have had a tough time with his off-speed pitches. He’s a middling prospect with an MLB walk rate higher than his scouting reports would suggest.

Aside from Cooper, the remainder of the Marlins’ lineup is pretty darn nondescript. Brian Anderson — no, not that one, or that one — is a good defender with a some power and OBP skills and a reverse platoon split. The complete package is an above-average player. Journeyman Neil Walker illustrates the need to adjust offensive performance for position. Hitting .265/.345/.393 is usually perfectly acceptable in the major leagues, but it becomes fairly valueless when you make your home at first base. In an effort to get Cooper out of the outfield, the Marlins recently shifted Walker to third in a three-player position switch that also bumped Anderson out to the grass.

Starlin Castro is still hanging around the major leagues and is still swinging at everything, only now he doesn’t hit the ball as hard and grounds into double plays more often than everyone else. Curtis Granderson is here too, but the 38-year-old’s extremely respectable career is hanging by a thread, as he’s been woeful at the plate and losing playing time to a thoroughly uninteresting Harold Ramirez.

At catcher and shortstop, the Marlins start 30-year-old Miguel Rojas and former Phillie Jorge Alfaro. Both guys hit enough to be average-ish players at their positions but — particularly given their ages — not enough to be any more interesting than that. J.T. Riddle and Cesar Puello combine to form a center fielder that would fit in well with the dreck at the back of the White Sox roster.


I’d love to make a general statement here about the direction of the Miami Marlins, but it’s not clear what they’re trying to do, and they’ve had a recent history of quickly opting out of whatever concrete plans that they appear to have. The Marlins’ farm system is short on exciting talent and their major league roster consists of retreads and mostly anonymous guys that remain out of the spotlight for reasons independent of playing for baseball’s least-compelling franchise. Oh well, enjoy the series, everyone.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Probable Lineup

  1. Miguel Rojas – SS
  2. Neil Walker – 3B
  3. Garrett Cooper – 1B
  4. Brian Anderson – RF
  5. Starlin Castro – 2B
  6. Curtis Granderson – DH
  7. Harold Ramirez – LF
  8. Jorge Alfaro – C
  9. Cesar Puello – CF




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As Cirensica

Best Simpson analogy thus far….

As Cirensica

Wow….what a crappy team. I wouldn’t want to be a Marlins fan, but I guess nobody is anyway.


I drew a blank.  Honestly.  My first thought was Stanton or Ozuna. 

lil jimmy

Sometimes when there’s nothing to say, it’s best to say nothing.
Unfortunately Pnoles does not have a choice.


My guess was Realmuto so at least I got a more current salary dump


From the department of “There, but for the grace of god…”


The Marlins exist to make every other teams’ fans feel better about their team.

The White Sox suck and will likely continue to suck but at least they have a shred of hope and a few interesting players.

lil jimmy

Everyone in Florida is from somewhere else. So, no loyalty to the team.
The team screws the fans over and over again, so no loyalty going the other way.


Given the 2 World Championships in the last 25 years, “Pulling a Homer” is what popped in my head regarding Simpsons references. 

Succeeding despite idiocy would seem to fit the Marlins as well. 


Yeah, to that point… Here is the list of franchises with multiple World Series titles in the past 25 years: Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Giants and Marlins. One of those is not like the others.

Trooper Galactus

Yup, I drew a total blank trying to figure out a single player on the Marlins. Wasn’t even aware Castro and Granderson were even on their team. Have seen some Jordan Yamamoto highlights, and that guy looks legit.


It’s year 3 (is that right? Time flies when you’re having fun!) of our rebuild and 40% of our roster is older than Starlin Castro, a player in his 10th major league season. That can’t be good!

Trooper Galactus

In his 10th MLB season and closing in on 1,600 hits. Pretty incredible for a guy who won’t be 30 for another eight months.

karkovice squad

The remarkable thing about the Marlins is how little they seem to have got out of moving Ozuna, Realmuto, Stanton, and Yelich. Open question how much of that is because all of MLB knew they had to sell off because of the debt plan the owners filed when they bought the team vs Jeter & Co. just being bad.

Either way, the Marlins go to show things could be even worse. And, after all, comparing yourself to those less fortunate is the key to happiness. Though not success.


I always thought the key to happiness was a lot of money, a big stash and a hot car, although I must admit I have none of those things.

lil jimmy

Well, you seem happy.


Yeah lj, it’s funny how age brings a change in perpective.

Trooper Galactus

“This is not my beautiful house…”

-Rick Hahn after five years of home construction

karkovice squad

“You are not your fucking navy socks and brown belt.” Tyler Durden addressing Rick at the winter meetings probably


Going tonight. I hope I see the bottom feeding fish pulled from the depths and toasted by the brand new much applauded nets the Sox installed or in the the alternative save my face from left handed pulled foul balls into section 110 since my coordination which will be undoubtedly impaired by consuming to many beers if I am witnessing the Sox being pounded by this awful team.


Eddy Alvarez has a 150 wRC+ playing every day for the Marlins’ AAA affiliate. Roster him, you fucking cowards.

Can we get critical support for Eddy Alvarez at the stadium for the rest of the series?