Most of the talk about the Miami Marlins this week has revolved around some offensive comments made by manager Ozzie Guillen. While clearly out of line, the thing that concerns me much more about this team is the offensive production.
In the Marlins seven games this season, their starting pitcher has given a quality start (at least 6 IP, no more than 3 ER) in five of them. The only awful outing came on Wednesday when Josh Johnson allowed six runs to the Phillies. Of the six relievers Miami has used this season, four of them have yet to give up a run. So, for the most part, the Marlins have been put in very winnable games this season.
But their offense has been extremely inconsistent in their first seven games. In their two wins, Miami has a healthy 14 runs, but they’ve scored one or zero runs in four of their five losses. Nobody expected the Marlins to be world beaters on offense but for a line-up with several players capable of getting on base at a frequent rate, it’s surprising to see them struggle to generate any kind of offense on most nights.
Not many people would have guessed that Omar Infante and Emilio Bonifacio would be Marlins’ two best hitters as they enter into their third series of the year but those are the only two players on the team with batting averages over .300 thru seven games. Noted offensive sparkplug Jose Reyes only has seven hits (and no walks) in 30 at-bats, brute force Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t blasted one into oblivion yet and Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez both have more strikeouts than they do hits.
Normally early season issues wouldn’t be too concerning but when you consider that there’s a possibility that Hanley Ramirez won’t return to form this year, Jose Reyes is almost guaranteed to miss some time at some point, Josh Johnson may not have the same stuff as his pre-injury self and that the Marlins are playing in an extreme pitcher’s park (making matters even worse for their offense), there’s some reason to believe that struggling to score runs will evolve from an early trend to a season defining detractor.