Welcome to The Stew’s annual team elimination posts. Like our video-game posts of last year, these are best done in theme. This time? We’re going with “Game of Thrones.” Each eliminated team will join the “army of the dead.” But we won’t just talk about their demise. We’ll also highlight some positives, pick out a memorable moment, tell you their biggest need and let you know when the club might be good again.
Sorry, Miami Marlins, but you won’t sit on the Iron Throne this season.
Giancarlo Stanton fought valiantly in an attempt to singlehandedly carry the club to the postseason, but his supporting cast wouldn’t cooperate. His rise, much like Robb Stark’s, was meteoric and tremendous. If only both men were surrounded with better allies …
With the regular season nearly over, the Marlins find themselves in more disarray than the Night’s Watch. Derek Jeter will take over as the team’s new owner, and there are already plenty of rumors on how he might shake things up in the organization.
Jeffrey Loria being pushed aside should be a good thing, but Jeter’s moves this offseason will tell fans whether times have truly changed, or if they’ll see the same, old Marlins for another couple seasons.
UNBOWED, UNBENT, UNBROKEN (aka WHAT WENT RIGHT)
We’re finally getting to see what a healthy and locked in Giancarlo Stanton looks like over a full season. It has been, in a word, glorious. In fact, the entire Marlins outfield, which includes Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, has been superb as we all expected. Off the field, the reality that Jeffrey Loria is weeks, if not days away from no longer owning the team, may be the best thing to happen to any team in MLB this season. (Mark Townsend)
THE RED WEDDING (aka WHAT WENT WRONG)
The Marlins hung tough despite having their share of flaws. Ultimately, they didn’t have enough starting pitching despite adding Edinson Volquez and Dan Straily to the mix. Wei-Yin Chen was limited to five starts due to injury and Adam Conley took a step back after a solid 2016 campaign. The Marlins were in the wild card race despite those issues and a 21-30 record through May, but a bad September proved to be their downfall. (Mark Townsend)
THE NORTH REMEMBERS (aka MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT)
Almost four months later, you still have to pinch yourself when you think about Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez throwing a no-hitter. Yes, THAT Edinson Volquez — 34-year-old journeyman Edinson Volquez. Even wilder? He did it on the birthday of former teammate Yordano Ventura, who died earlier this year in a car accident. Volquez isn’t dominating. He has a 4.19 ERA this season and was at 5.37 last season. But on one day in June, he was unhittable. (Mike Oz)
WORDS ARE WIND (aka MOST IMPORTANT THING TO FIX)
The Marlins are one team that when you think about what they need to fix, the answer is “who knows?” The new ownership, headlined by Derek Jeter, hasn’t even been officially approved yet, but they’re already making changes. Theoretically, they need to add pitching to their stellar offense. But Jeter has already said that he’s going to cut Marlins payroll, which means trading anyone and everyone. If that’s the plan, there’s nothing to fix. Everything goes by the wayside because the goal is no longer to win, but to save money. (Liz Roscher)
A DREAM OF SPRING (aka HOPE FOR THE FUTURE)
The Stanton decision will influence everything. While it would be a tough pill to swallow to trade away a superstar coming off his finest season, it might be beneficial to the club in the long-term.
The Marlins drafted pitcher Trevor Rogers in the first round of the 2017 draft and he immediately became the club’s best prospect. That should give you an idea about the state of the farm system. It’s mostly full of youngsters who remain years away from making an impact in the majors. Third baseman Brian Anderson is the one exception. He should get a shot at a full-time role in 2018.
Other than that, it’s a lot of guys in High A. In order to speed things up, the club could attempt to acquire top flight prospects in exchange for Stanton. It would take years before the team is competitive if they truly tear it down, but the talent Stanton would bring back might be worth it considering help is currently a few years away. (Chris Cwik)
PREVIOUSLY IN THIS SERIES
San Francisco Giants | Philadelphia Phillies | Cincinnati Reds | Chicago White Sox | New York Mets | San Diego Padres | Atlanta Braves | Detroit Tigers | Pittsburgh Pirates | Oakland Athletics
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