Antithetical to the popular assumption prior to the commencement of the season, the Miami Marlins hold a wildcard spot in approximately mid-August. Now, it’s mid-August, yes, but look at it from my view. This is the best they’ve been in my fully conscious being. The young and talented lineup carried the team to this point. Miami is held back by the pervasive inability to get deep into ballgames. Ptichers must throw strikes and grow accustomed to their new roles. With these inefficiencies, it isn’t difficult to start diagnosing the Marlins pitching lapses.
Diagnosing The Marlins Pitching Lapses
The addition of Andrew Cashner was signifying of an official commitment to the postseason this season for Miami. Despite this, the Marlins rotation has taken a step back as of late. The rotation has only at least gone six innings four times in the team’s last nine outings. Moreover, they’ve only thrown upwards of five innings the same number of times. Those quartet of times, split between Tom Koehler and Jose Fernandez, Koehler, being the only one to go more than six during that stretch.
Phelps’ Return An Anomaly
Now, a pair of those shortened outings were bi-products of David Phelps‘s re-integration into the rotation, and subsequent limited pitch count. The injury to Wei-Yin Chen left a hole in the Marlins rotation to be filled by Phelps. The St. Louis Missouri native has started two games, going 4 1/3 and five innings respectively. During those two starts, his firsts in a calendar year, he’s given up a combined one run. Don Mattingly will become increasingly comfortable stretching him out. Then he should provide solid innings for the ballclub.
In addition to the rotation hitting a valley of late, the back-end of the bullpen has been vexing as well. Fernando Rodney‘s addition hasn’t gone according to plan for Miami. Presumably a differing role may potentially be the catalyst. Since joining the Fish, Rodney’s ERA has swelled from 0.31 in San Diego to 5.40. With his FIP showing a much closer engulfment of 2.29 to 4.43 in Miami. A prevailing theory about Rodney has been his lack of adrenaline. This stemming from being moved from the ninth to the eight inning. FOX Sports Florida commentator Eduardo Perez spoke with Padres management while he was in San Diego for the All-Star Game. They were perplexed by Rodney not becoming the team’s closer. With the injury to A.J. Ramos, the 39-year old will get that opportunity.
In spite of the very recent tribulations of the Marlins pitching staff, there’s reason for optimism. Brian Ellington has established himself as a viable back-of-the-bullpen arm, with Nick Wittgren becoming a Mattingly favorite. Phelps has been stellar in his two outlines thus far, with more innings to come. Koehler has emerged as an ascendant starter poised to further relieve the bullpen.