2022 Season Review: Miami Marlins

Check out Jack Kruger’s 2022 Season Preview Article for the Miami Marlins here.

Image: Rhona Wise / USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 69-93 (.426 win%, 4th in Division)

2022 Payroll: $96,342,822 26th

2022 Lineup:

1. 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr, .254 AVG/.325 OBP/.535 SLG, 2.6 fWAR

2. LF Jorge Soler, .207 AVG/.295 OBP/.400 SLG, 0.5 fWAR

3. 1B Garret Cooper, .261 AVG/.337 OBP/.415 SLG, 1.4 fWAR

4. RF Avisail Garcia, .224 AVG/.266 OBP/.317 SLG, -0.6 fWAR

5. CF Jesús Sánchez, .214 AVG/.280 OBP/.403 SLG, 0.9fWAR

6. DH Jesus Aguilar, .235 AVG/.281 OBP/.379 SLG, -0.4 fWAR

7. 3B Brian Anderson, .222 AVG/.311 OBP/.346 SLG, 0.5 fWAR

8. C Jacob Stallings, .223 AVG/.292 OBP/.292 SLG, -0.6 fWAR

9. SS Miguel Rojas, .236 AVG/.283 OBP/.323 SLG, 1.2 fWAR

10. Jon Berti, .240 AVG/.324 OBP/.338 SLG, 2.3 fWAR

2022 Rotation:

1. Sandy Alcantara, 228.2 IP/2.28ERA/0.980 WHIP, 5.7 fWAR

2. Pablo Lopez, 180.0 IP/3.75 ERA/1.167 WHIP, 2.8 fWAR

3. Trevor Rogers, 107.0 IP/5.47 ERA/1.505 WHIP, 0.8 fWAR

4. Jesus Luzardo, 100.1 IP/3.32 ERA/1.037 WHIP, 2.2 fWAR

5. Braxton Garrett, 88.0 IP/3.58 ERA/1.250 WHIP, 1.5 fWAR

2022 Top 4 Relievers:

1. Tanner Scott, 62.2 IP/4.31 ERA/1.612 WHIP, 0.4 fWAR

2. Dylan Floro, 53.2 IP/3.02 ERA/1.174 WHIP, 0.7 fWAR

3. Richard Bleier, 50.2 IP/3.55 ERA/1.441 WHIP, 0.5 fWAR

4. Steven Okert, 51.1 IP/2.98 ERA/1.169 WHIP, -0.1 fWAR

Regular Season Recap

For the Miami Marlins, 2022 had a very similar flavor to 2021. The pitching was dependable and the offense anemic. 

Only one member of the starting rotation — Trevor Rogers — had a below average ERA, and the bullpen was an overall reliable unit. While Miami’s pitching wasn’t elite — finishing middle of the league in most team statistics — it was no pushover. The most well-known asset to the Marlins’ staff was Sandy Alcantara, who put on a transcendent performance start after start while managing an enormous workload. 

As for the rest of the rotation, while Rogers and Pablo Lopez both had down years, Lopez still pitched well. Meanwhile Edward Cabrera and Braxton Garrett both stepped up, showing the organization has depth in its starting rotation. 

The Bullpen, while not quite as dominant as a year ago, was still very good and a lot of key pieces continued to perform well. The issues that led to this team losing more than 90 games did not lie with the pitching but with the bats.

Almost the entire lineup regressed at the plate with more serious regression for newly acquired talent in Jacob Stallings and Avisail Garcia. The uninspiring performance of the fresh signings left the team unable to make up for the faltering experienced by its longer-term veterans like Miguel Rojas and Brian Anderson. 

Only two players on the entire team had an OPS over .750, leading to the Marlins scoring the fewest runs of any team in the National League. Jazz Chisholm was far and away the team’s best — and only — power hitter, so being without him for much of the year highlighted the lack of offensive depth.

As a team Miami finished dead last in the National League in slugging percentage and second to last in OBP. The team didn’t get on base and didn’t hit for power. These failures are what stopped the Marlins from taking the next step in 2022.

M-SABR Predicted Record (74-88) vs. Actual (69-93)

While Miami did manage to improve marginally from their 2021 campaign in the wins department, they still failed to meet the modest expectations set out for them. In a cutthroat NL East race the Marlins were never true contenders. When stacked up against the likes of the Braves, Mets, and Phillies — who were three of the top five highest scoring offenses in the NL — they didn’t have the firepower to win games.

Miami felt very much like the same team with a few pieces shifted around, same strengths but more importantly the same problems. While the pitching remained solid they are still looking for traction offensively, and they’ll need to find it to progress in a crowded and high-powered division. 

Surprise of the Season

Jazz Chisholm had a breakout year despite battling injuries. While only playing 60 games due to back issues, Chisholm showed himself to be the best bat in Miami. He was the only power hitter on the team, slugging over 100 points better than anyone else. He also had the most offensive WAR despite his limited playing time. He also remains a positive fielder at second base after switching to the position full time. If he can stay healthy Chisholm will be a star for the Marlins.

Offseason Outlook

The clear issue for Miami is lack of offense. With only two hitters in the starting lineup performing above league average, changes will need to be made. However, a simple free-agent splash is unlikely to put the Marlins over the top, especially in the NL East. 

The main focus needs to be on effective player development, acquiring more reliable pieces, and finding extra power. Finding another mercenary outfielder with a good bat and solid defense, similar to Soler, is a good place to start. 

As for pitching, Miami’s primary closer Tanner Scott didn’t put up stellar numbers and wasn’t close to the best performing reliever on the team. It may be worth the Marlins revisiting the closer role next season.

Finally the coaching shake up could be the most important difference maker. It’s the coaching staff’s job to get the most out of their players and if the front office can find the right people to bring out the offense and effectively develop younger hitters the team will start making progress a whole lot faster. 

Players We Watched

SP Sandy Alcantara

In 2022 Sandy Alcantara was incredible.

Alcantara followed up his spectacular 2021 with his best season yet. He threw a major-league leading 228.2 innings, posted a 2.28 ERA, and garnered almost 6 fWAR. 

He led Miami’s rotation and was far and away the team’s most standout player. He was voted an All Star and will be a top contender for the NL Cy Young award.

He also threw 6 complete games.

1B Garrett Cooper

Though a relative highlight of the Marlins struggling offense, Cooper still took a step back from 2021. Though all his stats fell, his slugging was hurt the most. He hit the same number of home runs as last year despite getting almost twice as many at-bats, leading to an almost .100 drop in his OPS. For a team that struggled to find extra-base hits as much as Miami, that drop in production was a big deal and they’ll need him back on his horse next season.

SP Jesus Luzardo

Luzardo had a great season.

Luzardo has been widely regarded as an arm with real promise, but his struggles in 2021 called into question whether trading for him was a good move. However this season Luzardo rebounded well and proved what he is capable of. If he continues this form in future seasons he will go down as a worthwhile addition to Miami’s rotation.

Something to Watch

Who will be Don Mattingly’s replacement?

After seven years at the helm Don Mattingly is stepping away as manager of the Marlins. As the team continues to develop younger talent and push towards contention, finding a manager that can get the most out of the players is essential. 

Some names being thrown around include former Miami third base coach and current Houston bench coach Joe Espada as well as Tampa Bay bench coach Matt Quatraro. Multiple high profile managers and coaches are eager to get a shot at managing a major league team — maybe one of them will be Miami’s next great skipper.

Categories: 2022 Season Review, Articles, Post-COVID

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