Maimi Marlin preview – Dee Gordon edition
The Miami Marlins as recently as July 27th were the number two seed in the Wild Card race with a 55-46 record. The pythag said they were playing over their heads and that they should be playing a .518 clip not a .545 clip. Pythag was right. They are currently 69 – 71 with pythag saying they should be 70 – 70. How about that?
Dee Gordon finished his PED suspension and joined the team on July 28th. Before his PED suspension on April 29th, Dee had been enjoying a very subpar April, hitting only .266 with an OBP below .300. It was a far cry from the break-out year he had enjoyed in 2015 when he led the league in hits with 205, batting average at .333, and steals at 58.
Once Dee returned on July 28th he started out well, getting his average all the way to .296 on Aug 16th. He did that by hitting .338 in 75 plate appearances. For all appearances he looked much like he had looked in 2015. Since Aug 16th however, Dee Gordon has been mired in a horrific slump that has seen him hit .171 with a .190 OBP in 85 plate appearances bringing his overall line back to .253 / .293.
The Marlins meanwhile have gone 14 – 25 since Dee rejoined the team. For many reasons not just because Dee Gordon is mired in a slump.
You could blame the Marlin outfield, at times considered the best young outfield in baseball:
- Three time all-star Giancarlo Stanton has only played in 16 of the last 38 games due to injuries. He was out from Aug 14th to Sept 5th. When he has played he been good but not great, his 121 OPS+ is the lowest of his career, and well below his career average of 141.
- 2016 All-Star Marcell Ozuna had an .892 OPS at the all-star break. It is now .795 as he has an OPS of only .608 since the all-star game. Ozuna had 17 home runs at the break. He has only hit 5 since then.
- You can’t lay any blame at the feet of Christian Yelich. Somehow he wasn’t an all-star this year but he’s been the most consisten performer for the Marlins all year long. Though even Yelich only has an OPS of .714 over his last 30 games.
Or you could blame injuries:
- The one mentioned above to Giancarlo Stanton
- Justin Bour had an OPS of .873 when he went down on July 2nd. Bour had hit 15 home runs in only 200 at bats and was a big part of the offense during the 1st half of the year. Bour did not return until Sept 6th.
- Adam Conley has at times been brilliant and not so brilliant. He has had six game scores above 65, but 11 below 50. Conley has not pitched since August 13th. Good for the Dodgers since he throws left handed and you know how that goes.
- Wei-Yin Chen didn’t provide the Marlins with the production they expected when they signed him last winter. The left-hander has not pitched since July 20th.
Funny how teams with little depth are effected dramatically by injuries to key players.
So in a nutshell:
- Instead of a rotation of Jose Fernandez, Adam Conley, and Wei-Yin Chen facing the Dodgers this weekend the Marlins will be throwing all right handers in Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Jose Urena. Only one of these pitchers is any good.
- The Marlins welcome back Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour to their lineup which should have ramifciations up and down the lineup.
- Dee Gordon is currently mired in a horrible slump. Oh, and the guy who replaced him during his suspension, Derek Dietrich* has an OPS of .555 since the all-star break.
- Did I mention that Fernando Rodney is now their closer. Hey he only implodes once every five games, I’m sure that is managable for a teams closer.
On the plus side, at one time there was a concern that Dee Gordon wouldn’t be able to play in the postseason because of the rules regarding his suspension. The concern was how do you manage that, do you play Dietrich the last week at 2nd base so he’s not rusty when the play-in game comes around.
Turns out, the Marlins dont’ have to worry about how to manage that situation anymore.