This is the sixth year that I've done a Miami Marlins preview. That's kind of weird to think about; every year that I've been legally able to drink, I've written a preview for the Marlins. I have somehow gone all this way without ever learning something about the Marlins. This is partly because the Marlins reinvent themselves every year, partly because I don't actually care about teams besides the Reds.
I have to start every one of these, though, by mentioning how much I love the original Marlins uniforms.
Mike Redmond – who is definitively not Mark Redman – is entering his third year and led the Marlins to a 77-85 record last year, a 15-game improvement over 2014. The former catcher has Lenny Harris, Frank Menechino, Brett Butler, and Chuck Hernandez on his staff, which means I must be getting old.
They have a "Rehab Coordinator" named Frank Basham, which is funny for "Bash him, hahaha" purposes and "aww, I miss Bobby Basham" purposes.
Anyways, Redmond got some Manager of the Year votes last year. That's always impressive with a losing team. But will the team get better this year?
Rotation (IP, W-L)
Mat Latos (102.1, 5-5): Well, didn't take us long to see some former Reds. He's in the last year of his contract, may or may not be healthy, but is devastatingly good when he is. He could win 20 games or pitch 40 innings with equal likelihood. I hope it's the former. I know it may be cool to dislike Mat Attack after he sounded off on the Reds, but I'll still love the guy. You'll have to read the incoming Redleg Annual for more on why.
Henderson Alvarez (187.0, 12-7): He had three complete-game shutouts last year. A Mike Leake-type, he only struck our 5.3/9 but didn't walk many while being nifty with his own glove. With a defense behind him, he could be great. Or he could just be hittable for the rest of his career.
Jarred Cosart (191, 12-10): Remember, everyone. Today's untouchable prospects are tomorrow's middle-of-the-road starters. The centerpiece of the Hunter Pence/Phillies deal was traded for Francis Martes, Colin Moran, and Jake Marsnick last year. He doesn't strike out too many, but neither is he around the plate in an Alvarezian capacity.
Dan Haren (100, 7-5): I'll admit, I kinda miss when players just begrudgingly played for a team they hated. I don't think we've had that since Derek Bell. But the somewhat-injured groundball expert is gonna suit up for the Marlins, and it's gonna be hilarious. Also hilarious: the internet tells me Dan Haren's son is named "Rheet."
Tom Koehler: (190, 10-10): "190 innings pitched, 10-10 record" is such a beautiful season line for this 24-year-old from Upstate New York. Is there just a mill of average white pitchers somewhere? Did he generate in his current form from Steve Trachsel's rib? Anyways, God's Own Fifth Pitcher will be doing his thing every-so-often in Miami whatever-their-colors-are.
Steve Cishek is a very decent closer. Aaron Crow used to be a top pick. Brad Hand isn't related to Donovan Hand. Is Donovand Hand even really in camp for the Reds?
The rest of the team
It's just baseball. They might win 70 games. Or maybe 90. We don't really care as long as they lose 4 of 6 to the Reds
Weird element of pop culture or pop culture detrius they remind me of