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Last Season Performance

It was another losing season for the Miami Marlins, finishing 69-93, fourth in the National League East. After two disappointing seasons since making the playoffs in the 2020 COVID-19-shortened season, Don Mattingly will no longer manage the team.

The outright highlight of the 2022 season was Sandy Alcantara winning the Cy Young Award. Despite the Marlins’ overall struggles, he had an incredible season, pitching 228.2 innings and having an ERA of 2.28. Overall the pitching was solid but lacked any run support.

Due to injuries and players slumping, the team scored the fewest runs in the NL. Jazz Chisholm Jr. asserted himself as a cornerstone player, becoming the cover athlete for “MLB The Show 23,” but could only play in 60 games.

Off-Season Changes

Key Additions

Starting pitching was not a problem for the Marlins last season, but you can never have enough of it. Johnny Cueto was signed to a one-year contract, with the possibility of a team option for a second. He has had an excellent career, and with the Marlins rotation being young, Cueto could be a second “pitching coach.”

Jean Segura was the Marlins’ most expensive signing, two years, $17 million, to bolster the infield. While Segura played second base last season, most of his career was spent at shortstop. The Marlins infield has many moving parts, and Segura helps with his experience up the middle. His bat won’t be much of an uplift, having down numbers last season, but also dealt with some injuries.

Key Losses

Due to the overall youth on the roster, the Marlins did not have to deal with many players leaving in the offseason. Third baseman Brian Anderson left in free agency but wasn’t that impactful, with 28 RBIs in 98 games.

The same thing can be said about Miguel Rojas, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rojas batted .236, six HRs, and 26 RBIs in 140 games. However, both players were regular starters in the infield, leading to Segura needing to be added to the roster.

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Manager: Skip Schumaker

Skip Schumaker is the Marlins’ new manager. How long he stays might depend on this season. Schumaker was given a two-year deal with an option for a third. It allows Miami to move on if his first managerial season is unsuccessful. He previously coached with the San Diego Padres from 2018-2021 and the Cardinals last season.

Strengths: Pitching Verstilly

Last season, pitching was Miami’s strength and will likely be again in 2023. Outside of Alcantara winning the Cy Young and the addition of Cueto, the team’s pitching staff looks solid.

Alcantara will be 27 years old this season, along with Pablo López, the second starter in 2022. They were the elders in the rotation, now passed by Cueto. López was less dominant than Alcantara but finished with 174 strikeouts and a 3.75 ERA. Edward Cabrera was the most impressive of four 24-year-olds to have over 14 or more starts, posting a 3.01 ERA. Trevor Rogers was the only starting pitcher that struggled, with a 5.47 ERA in his 23 starts.

On the other hand, while the starting pitching is young, the bullpen is a little on the older side but still good. It may not have household names, but Dylan Floro, Steven Okert, and Tanner Scott were solid. Scott was the closer, with 20 saves, but the role was shared with Floro, adding 10.

Weaknesses: Power Bats

Scoring runs was a problem for the Marlins last season, and they did not do much to address that this offseason. Segura could be perceived as an upgrade, but it won’t be enough for the Marlins to improve from the worst-scoring team in the NL.

The team was affected by injuries, crucially to Jorge Soler and Chisholm Jr., which hampered the offense. Garrett Cooper led the team in RBIs with only 50, and Chisholm Jr. finished third despite missing two-thirds of the season. Jesús Aguilar had the most HRs with 15, but only four other players had more than 10. Soler and Chisholm Jr. were part of that group, but they combined for 132 games.

Having key contributors back from injury could help the Marlins’ offensive struggles, but making no moves to bring anyone in could be a problem.

Predictions for the 2023 Season

The Marlins’ pitching could keep them alive early in the season. However, playoffs might not be in the team’s cards for 2023. They play in one of the toughest divisions in the NL, with three different teams with postseason and maybe even World Series hopes. On top of that, the Marlins do not have the offense to keep up with anyone of those teams.

That doesn’t mean the Marlins still can’t have a good season. They may not move up the division standings, but their pitching will help them be in every game, and maybe some extra runs could move the team closer to being .500.