The Marlins didn’t spend the offseason trying to replace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident late last season. It would be impossible for them to replace his talent on the field and presence in the clubhouse. They added a few pitchers and boosted their bullpen. I like the additions they made.
The Marlins may not be able to keep up with the Nationals or Mets, but they will be competitive this season. They hope to improve on last season’s 79 wins. I think they have a shot.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is arguably the worst owner in MLB. Will he finally sell the team this season?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Miami Marlins.
2016 Win/Loss Record: 79-82
Key Additions: SP Edinson Volquez, RP Brad Ziegler, SP Dan Straily, RP Junichi Tazawa, RP Nefi Ogando, C A.J. Ellis, RP Severino Gonzalez, SP Jeff Locke, 1B Tyler Moore, SP Kyle Lobstein, RP Javy Guerra, OF Brandon Barnes, SP Stehen Fife & OF Matt den Dekker
Key Losses: SP Jose Fernandez, RP Mike Dunn, SP Andrew Cashner, 3B Chris Johnson, C Jeff Mathis, RP Austin Brice &1B Xavier Scruggs
Interleague Schedule: AL West
Projected Starters: J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Adeiny Hechavarria, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna & Giancarlo Stanton
Projected Starting Rotation:Wei-Yin Chen, Edinson Volquez, Adam Conley, Tom Koehler & Dan Straily
Closer: A.J. Ramos
Fantasy Sleeper: 1B Justin Bour – Bour was my Marlins sleeper last year and he followed through with a pretty good year. He was a nice backup option and could often be found as a streamable free agent. I expect an even better year from him this year. I don’t think it will be a huge increase in his production, but 20+ homers could happen. If you need a backup corner infielder, you can’t go wrong with Bour.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: None – The Marlins have one of the worst farm systems of any Major League team. They haven’t rebounded from unloading prospects for various veterans like Jose Reyes. None of those trades really paid off for the Marlins. Also, their last few drafts haven’t yielded anyone of note.
Team Analysis: The Marlins didn’t add any big names this Winter, but I like who they added. Adding Edinson Volquez and Dan Straily to the rotation was smart. It would have been easy to try and trade for a guy to replace Jose Fernandez, but that wasn’t plausible. Also, adding Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa was exactly what they needed. I know a lot of teams were after Ziegler, so that was a nice get for the front office.
In 2016, Giancarlo Stanton had an off-year by his lofty standards. He had issues with strikeouts and then in the second-half of the season, he focused on contact and his power numbers went down. Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich picked up the slack and Stanton’s struggles weren’t felt much overall.
The Marlins were nearly a .500 team last season. I think with the improvements they made this Winter, they could finish with a winning record this year. The improved bullpen will help them preserve leads and the roster is just better assembled to win close games.
2017 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 77.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2017 Projected Win/Loss Record: 79-83 (3rd in NL East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.